Philip L. Torrey

Lecturer on Law

2018-2019

Biography

Phil Torrey is the Managing Attorney of the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program, a Lecturer on Law, and the Supervising Attorney for the Harvard Immigration Project. At HLS, he supervises the Crimmigration Clinic and he teaches a course concerning the intersection of criminal law and immigration law. The Crimmigration Clinic provides advice to criminal defense attorneys around the country concerning the immigration consequences of criminal charges, as well as state and federal appellate litigation support, and policy advocacy. His research focuses on the crime-based grounds of removal and immigration detention, including the private prison industry, and the immigration system’s mandatory detention regime.  Prior to joining HLS, Torrey worked as an attorney in the Immigration Unit of Greater Boston Legal Services and as a litigation associate at the law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. He received his B.A. from Colgate University and his J.D. with honors from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Areas of Interest

Philip L. Torrey, Alternative Facts in the War on Immigrants, Harv. L. & Pol’y Rev. (Mar. 3, 2017).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
,
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Immigration Law
,
Executive Office
,
Politics & Political Theory
Type: Article
Abstract
This short online essay analyzes the recent use of propaganda and manufactured facts by the Trump Administration to stigmatize immigrants as dangerous.
Philip L. Torrey, Jennings v. Rodriguez and the Future of Immigration Detention, 20 Harv. Latinx L. Rev. 171 (2017).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
,
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Immigration Law
,
Supreme Court of the United States
,
Judges & Jurisprudence
,
Congress & Legislation
,
Executive Office
Type: Article
Abstract
Immigration detention will likely play a central role in the Trump administration’s efforts to increase deportations. Despite the President’s broad authority to detain, the U.S. Supreme Court will have an opportunity to limit that authority via a case that will be heard for a second time before the Court this year. In Jennings v. Rodriguez, the Court will consider both statutory and constitutional challenges to the government’s ability to detain certain individuals without providing them the opportunity to be released on bond. Not only does the Court’s decision in Jennings have the potential to restrict the government’s use of immigration detention, but it could simultaneously chip away at the plenary power doctrine, which traditionally accords Congress and the President broad authority to enact, administer, and enforce immigration law without judicial oversight.
Philip L. Torrey, Laura Murray-Tjan & Sarah R. Sherman-Stokes, Immigration Consequences of Massachusetts Sex Offenses, in Trying Sex Offense Cases in Massachusetts (2015 Supp.) ch. 19 (Hon. Jennifer L. Ginsburg ed., Mass. Continuing Legal Educ. 2015).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Gender & Sexuality
,
Immigration Law
Type: Book
Philip L. Torrey, Immigration Detention’s Unfounded Bed Mandate, 15-04 Immigr. Briefings 1 (2015).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Immigration Law
Type: Article
Abstract
This article (1) reviews the history of the immigration bed mandate (or bed quota) from 2009 to present, (2) discusses its inconsistent interpretation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and (3) offers reasons why the bed mandate is both constitutionally questionable and bad policy.
Philip L. Torrey, Principles of Federalism and Convictions for Immigration Purposes, 36 Immigr. & Nat’lity L. Rev. 3 (2015).
Categories:
Criminal Law & Procedure
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
,
Government & Politics
Sub-Categories:
Criminal Prosecution
,
Immigration Law
,
Congress & Legislation
,
Federalism
,
State & Local Government
,
Supreme Court of the United States
Type: Article
Abstract
In this article, I argue that while Congress possesses broad plenary authority to pass legislation concerning immigration, recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent — most notably the Court’s 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor — signals a rare moment when the judiciary may be receptive to a constitutional challenge to the Immigration and Nationality Act's federal conviction definition.
Philip L. Torrey, Rethinking Immigration’s Mandatory Detention Regime: Politics, Profit and the Meaning of "Custody", 48 U. Mich. J.L. Ref. 879 (2015).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Immigration Law
Type: Article
Abstract
Immigration detention in the United States is a crisis that needs immediate attention. U.S. immigration detention facilities hold a staggering number of persons. Widely believed to have the largest immigration detention population in the world, the United States detained approximately 478,000 foreign nationals in Fiscal Year 2012. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency responsible for immigration enforcement, boasts that the figure is “an all-time high.” In some ways, these numbers are unsurprising, considering that the United States incarcerates approximately one in every one hundred adults within its borders—a rate five to ten times higher than any other Westernized country. An immigration law, known as the mandatory detention statute, is partially to blame for this recordbreaking immigration detention population. Under this law, facilities may hold noncitizens without providing them an opportunity to ask for release.
Philip L.Torrey, The Erosion of Judicial Discretion in Crime-Based Removal Proceedings, 14-02 Immigr. Briefings 1 (2014).
Categories:
Criminal Law & Procedure
,
Government & Politics
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Immigration Law
,
Judges & Jurisprudence
Type: Article
Abstract
This article discusses how Congress has eliminated, or at least severely curtailed, judicial discretion in the context of crime-based removal proceedings. By way of illustration, this article focuses on the legislative and judicial histories of two discretionary forms of relief: (1) the Judicial Recommendation Against Deportation (JRAD); and (2) the waiver of deportation pursuant to section 212(c) of the INA.

Bar Admissions

Education History

Current Courses

Course Catalog View

Clinic Work

Phil supervises the Crimmigration Clinic at the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program.  In the Crimmigration Clinic students work on cutting-edge issues regarding the intersection of criminal law and immigration law. Previous projects have included representation of clients in appellate proceedings in administrative and federal courts, as well as representation of clients seeking release from immigration detention via habeas corpus petitions. Students also advise criminal defense attorneys on the potential immigration consequences of criminal charges, and draft policy memoranda for public defender offices and other nonprofit organizations.