This course opens – and may well close – with the Supreme Court’s impending consideration of the amended “travel ban” in Trump v. Int’l Refugee Assistance Project and Trump v. Hawaii. Discussion on that policy, lower court cases and Supreme Court briefs will serve as a primer on the federal constitutional powers and checks on immigration. We will then review historic constitutional precedents with emphasis on how they underpin and influence contemporary judicial interpretation.
From there, the course surveys the essential elements of immigration and nationality law and attendant procedures: the law of citizenship and naturalization, admission and removal, alien detention, asylum and other relief, and purportedly non-derogable protections under international conventions as implemented by U.S. law. Each week’s discussion on these subject matters will commence with a recent, significant and often controversial dispute, and examine how statutes, regulations, and precedents have guided, for better or worse, an actual or likely resolution. This course will require significant classroom participation.
There will be a comprehensive, final in-class exam. The course grade will be based on class participation and the final exam.
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