Gene Hamilton

Senior Advisor, Department of Justice, Former Senior Counselor to DHS Sec., Former General Counsel to Sen. Sessions

As a key architect of the repeal of DACA and ending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for hundreds of thousands of individuals, Gene Hamilton, a DOJ lawyer and former Sen. Jeff Sessions staffer, was a steadfast proponent of anti-immigrant policies while in the Senate and has carried that work into the Trump Administration. According to transcripts from an October 2017 deposition, the DOJ lawyer acknowledged that he had been the author of the September 5th D.H.S. memo that formally terminated DACA, and had discussed the end of the program with Sessions, Miller, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

  • Gene Hamilton is a lawyer and one of a number of former Sen. Sessions staffers who have moved into key positions within the Trump Administration, wielding significant influence over the U.S. immigration system. Hamilton acknowledged during his deposition, his “tremendous working relationship with then Senator Sessions, and we spoke on a nearly daily basis, if not multiple times a day,” during his time as general counsel to then-Senator Sessions.
  • In his time on the Trump transition team and in the Adminsitration, Hamilton has helped to draft and implement some of the most inhumane immigration policies in decades like the Muslim Ban, repeal of DACA and ending countless TPS designations for vulnerable nations.
  • Hamilton stayed on at the Justice Department after Sessions departed as Attorney General.
  • Hamilton volunteered on the Trump transition team where he laid the groundwork for President Trump’s Muslim bans, changes to refugee policies, and immigration enforcement measures. According to Hamilton, “I was generally the lead on development of all immigration-policy issues for the transition entity, and so everyone who worked on that reported to me.”
  • According to deposition transcripts, Gene Hamilton, acknowledged he’d been the author of the DHS memo which repealed DACA, and had several conversations with the Texas Attorney General’s office, including Ken Paxton himself, before and after that office led an effort threatening legal action if DACA was not repealed before September 5, 2017.
  • Documents made public as part of ongoing litigation on the Trump Administration’s decision to end TPS for hundreds of thousands of immigrants, demonstrated an effort by Administration officials including Hamilton, USCIS Senior Advisor Robert Law, and then-USCIS Director Lee Francis Cissna, to rewrite TPS recommendation memos in order to terminate the program for many. According to these documents, Hamilton pushed past career department officials in order to make last minute revisions to TPS assessment memos, attempting to remove references to human rights violations.