Former Senior DHS/ICE Official Joins Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis

December 04, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC – December 4, 2018 – Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP announced today that John Amaya has become Of Counsel to the firm.  Mr. Amaya, who served as a senior leader in the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), will focus on global immigration, cross-border investigations, related litigation, and congressional investigations.

Scott Blake Harris, Chairman of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis, said, “John’s experience in immigration and cross-border matters is deep and extensive.  Over the past decade, he has been at the center of these debates in federal courts, Congress, and the executive branch, which will be of enormous value to our clients both in the U.S. and overseas.”

Mr. Amaya served in the Obama Administration at the Department of Homeland Security as ICE’s Deputy Chief of Staff.  There, he managed a broad domestic and international portfolio.  Mr. Amaya was instrumental in the creation of new operational guidance for worksite immigration enforcement.  These policies directly affect businesses and provide guidance for best practices to properly hire and retain a global workforce.  Mr. Amaya also worked with foreign diplomats and law enforcement to combat and dismantle cross-border trade in violation of federal money laundering and foreign corruption laws.

Mr. Amaya also served as Counselor to the Director at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.  In that capacity, he worked on many complex global immigration matters including the national security response to risks associated with the EB-5 immigrant investor program, the administration of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and ensuring a fair process for unaccompanied children seeking asylum.  Additionally, he played a pivotal role in developing policies for, and the administration of, visas for highly skilled workers, people with extraordinary abilities, and foreign investors.

Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Mr. Amaya served as senior counsel to then-Chairman of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy, conducting oversight and advising on civil and criminal justice, immigration and homeland security, foreign corruption, sanctions, and judicial nominations.

Mr. Amaya will provide strategic counseling on immigration compliance and cross border transactions, representation in related civil and criminal litigation, and assistance in navigating congressional investigations, hearings, and related legislative action.

Mr. Amaya earned both his B.A. and law degree from the University of Washington where he served on the Board of Regents.  He also earned his LL.M. in International Business and Economic Law from the Georgetown University Law Center.

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About Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis

Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP is a nationally recognized communications, energy, information technology, international investment/national security, and litigation law firm.  The firm’s clients include Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurs, investors, trade associations, and non-profit organizations.   For more information, please visit www.hwglaw.com.

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