Millicent Y. Clarke, Esquire, has been described as “A Brilliant and Fearless Litigator.” She has practiced Immigration Law for over 30 years. Ms. Clarke obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Fordham University, and a Juris Doctor from Temple University School of Law. Upon graduation from Law School, she was selected as a United States Department of Justice Honors Graduate. As a result, her first formal legal position was with the United States Justice Department in Chicago as a General Attorney for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), now known as the Department of Homeland Security. While serving in that capacity, she represented the then INS, before the Immigration Court, served as a designated Naturalization Examiner, and defended the former INS in equal employment opportunity cases.Read more
Ms. Clarke’s professional path subsequently led her to the United States Department of Justice, Office of Immigration Litigation, (OIL) in Washington, D.C. There she authored appellate briefs and argued cases before the various United States Courts of Appeals, nationwide. While at OIL, she was responsible for a number of precedent decisions involving the development of appellate immigration law pertaining to in absentia hearings.
In April of 1986, Ms. Clarke began working as a Special Assistant for the INS at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, in Brooklyn, comprised of Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. She was responsible for the prosecution and defense of all cases arising under the Immigration and Nationality Act, including the preparation of INS search warrants for presentation to the Federal Magistrate Judge, in that district. As such, she successfully prosecuted and defended a number of high profile cases and cases of first impression in Immigration and International law. They included, inter alia, the first effort to denaturalize and deport a Jewish Nazi collaborator, as well as the defense of Bertrand Aristide, President of Haiti, who was at the time, in exile, in the United States. She defended, over a four-year period, a complex class action federal tort claim and Bivens action involving the detention of excludable aliens. Ms. Clarke has also litigated numerous Employment Discrimination, False Claims, Social Security, Tort, Attorney Fees, Personal Injury and Forfeiture cases on behalf of the United States, and its respective agencies. In 1995, Ms. Clarke was appointed to the Immigration Bench by then U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, a position she ultimately declined, opting to enter private practice. Ms. Clarke subsequently founded Clarke & Associates. The practice deals with the full range of immigration and consular law, including litigation in the Federal Courts.
Since entering private practice, she has defended a number of cases which have garnered the attention of the national media including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The New York Daily News, the San Jose Mercury News, and the Korean Times. She was also featured in New York Newsday’s Question and Answer Immigration column. In the year 2000, the Board of Immigration Appeals published one of her asylum cases, Matter of S- A-, as a precedent decision. In 2009, she won two extensively and arduously fought removal cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. During 2014, her office defended and won a number of complex cases, including identifying as a United States Citizen, and compelling the release of, a Jamaican national, held by ICE for 5 ½ months for imminent removal from the U.S.
Ms. Clarke has spoken locally and nationally on immigration issues in a number of forums, such as, the Federal Courts Committee of the Nassau County Bar, and the National Bar Association. She has served as a panel member on the U.S. and Caribbean Issues Forum at the Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C., and on an Immigration panel sponsored by the Federal Bar Council. She regularly speaks to church and community groups. Additionally, Ms. Clarke was a regular speaker on Drive Time Radio, WPAT 930AM on Saturdays, where she addressed the full range of immigration issues. From January 2011 to the July 2013, Ms. Clarke served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Bread & Life: Immigration Clinic at St. John’s University School of Law, New York. She sits on a number of local boards and has received numerous commendations in the course of her career for her commitment to her profession and community.