Cecillia Wang


Cecillia Wang is a deputy legal director at the national American Civil Liberties Union and oversees the ACLU’s work on immigrants’ rights, voting rights, national security, human rights, and speech, privacy and technology. She is a past director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project and has taught immigration law courses as an adjunct lecturer at Stanford and Berkeley.

Cecillia’s notable ACLU cases include a Supreme Court argument in Nielsen v. Preap, concerning the interpretation of an immigration detention statute; successful federal appellate arguments in cases challenging President Trump’s ban on the entry of noncitizens from certain Muslim-majority countries (Fourth Circuit en banc), an Arizona state constitutional amendment barring pretrial release for criminal defendants based on immigration status (Ninth Circuit en banc), and Alabama’s HB 56 anti-immigrant law (Eleventh Circuit); and two trial victories in a case challenging racial profiling, illegal detentions, and civil contempt by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

From 1998 to 2002, Cecillia was a trial attorney with the federal public defender office in the Southern District of New York.  She later served on the federal indigent defense panel for the Northern District of California.

Cecillia is a 1995 graduate of the Yale Law School, where she was an articles editor for The Yale Law Journal.  She clerked for Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the Supreme Court of the United States, working in the chambers of Justice Stephen G. Breyer, and Judge William A. Norris of the U.S. Court of Appeals of the Ninth Circuit.  Cecillia graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 1992 with an A.B. in English (with highest honors) and Biology and was valedictorian of her graduating class in the Department of English.

Cecillia Wang

American Civil Liberties Union

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