Ahlian Arulanantham

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Deputy Legal Director and Senior Staff Attorney, Immigrants' Rights Project 

ACLU Southern California

Mr. Arulanantham has successfully litigated several cases involving the detention and deportation of non-citizens detained as national security threats under the immigration laws, successfully represented a U.S. citizen wrongfully detained as an enemy combatant in Iraq, and won victories to alter the laws governing prolonged detention in the immigration context.  In 2007, he was named one of California Lawyer Magazine’s Lawyers of the Year and in both 2007 and 2008 was named one of the Daily Journal’s Top 100 Lawyers in California. 

Prior to joining the ACLU's Southern California office, Mr. Arulanantham was an Assistant Federal Public Defender in El Paso, Texas for two years.  Before that, he was a fellow at the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project in New York, where he provided legal assistance to dozens of non-citizens detained after the September 11th attacks. 


Mr. Arulanantham is the author of A Hungry Child Knows No Politics: A Proposal to Reform Laws Governing Humanitarian Relief and 'Material Support' of Terrorism, published by the American Constitution Society in June 2008.


Mr. Arulanantham is a former law clerk to the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, a graduate of Yale Law School, and a graduate of Oxford University, which he attended as a Marshall Scholar.