Aaron C. Morris is Immigration Equality’s Executive Director. Prior to becoming ED, Aaron led the organization’s law and policy programs. He has supervised Immigration Equality’s legal services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, and lobbying efforts. During his nine years with Immigration Equality, Aaron has built close relationships with members of Congress, with top government agents at the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security, and with the White House.
As a national leader in LGBTQ immigration law, Aaron was invited in 2015 to provide oral arguments as amicus counsel before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Godoy-Ramirez v. Holder. As amicus, Aaron explained to the Court that an immigration judge had fundamentally misunderstood what it means to be transgender when she concluded that transgender women were safe in Mexico because that nation’s capital had recognized marriages for same-sex couples. The case was one of three that were argued at the same time, resulting in a published decision positively changing the law in nine states.
As an expert in immigration policy, Aaron spoke in 2016 at a press conference with Congress Members Becerra, Chu, Grijalva, Honda, and Lee to explain the importance of the Reuniting Families Act, a bill Aaron helped to draft. The bill provides family recognition for LGBTQ refugees and other immigrants who have no access to marriage equality. In addition to his work as an advocate in the United States, Aaron has traveled internationally, including to Russia and Jamaica, to speak about LGBTQ human rights at the invitation of local activists.
Aaron first joined Immigration Equality as a Pride Law Fellow in the summer of 2004. After law school, he volunteered with the organization whenever he could, and joined as a staff attorney in 2008. Aaron is a graduate of the American University’s Washington College of Law and the University of Oklahoma. Before joining Immigration Equality, he was an immigration staff attorney in the Office of Legal Affairs of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Aaron is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the New York City Bar Association, and the LGBT Bar Association. In 2014, he was named by the LGBT Bar Association as one of the Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40.