Aseem Mehta is a legal advocate and documentary filmmaker focused on incarceration and detention. As a Fellow with Immigrant Justice Corps, he defended immigrants from deportation in New York and South Texas. His advocacy work connects legal strategy with narrative journalism, documentary film and digital campaigns. While representing detained refugee families in Dilley, TX, Aseem designed systems for incarcerated refugees to deliver firsthand testimony about the conditions of their confinement to national media outlets, building momentum for related litigation.
As a Non-residential Fellow with Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society, Aseem worked with Professor Van Schewick and Valarie Kaur to facilitate a campaign to bring faith leaders and interfaith organizers to the forefront of the fight for “net neutrality” – the legal protection of a free and open Internet. As the director of the Yale Visual Law Project, Aseem co-directed documentary films on solitary confinement and immigration detention to provide a platform for grassroots organizers and affected communities to speak to new audiences in new spaces, including film festivals, museums, universities and legislative chambers. He has conducted research on prison policy reform as a Liman Summer Fellow at the Vera Institute of Justice in New York, and digital privacy as a Humanity in Action-Pat Cox Fellow at the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee in Brussels.
Aseem graduated from Yale’s Ethics, Politics & Economics program magna cum laude where his thesis, an analysis of the expression of political voice by undocumented communities, was awarded the Hume Prize for the best joint empirical and theoretical approach to understanding public policy.