Intersection of Immigration Policy & Civil Rights Law

This advanced seminar examines the current implications of immigration policy as it impacts the civil rights of lawful and unauthorized immigrants, citizens, and noncitizens currently residing in the United States. The civil rights implications of the development of immigration law and policy in the United States, and the development of post-9/11 immigration policy in particular, will be examined within specific political, historical, and socio-economic contexts. The seminar will focus on how civil rights issues are complicated by immigration and citizenship status, and will consider the citizen/non-citizen distinction within a broader context of foreignness and how foreigner status influences what rights and remedies have been made available under federal and State immigration laws and policies. The seminar will further explore the source of civil rights for immigrants and noncitizens and how these sources have been expanded or restricted throughout U.S. history, often dependent upon certain political and economic considerations. A particular emphasis of the seminar will focus on how immigration-related civil rights and civil liberties have been most recently impacted by post-9/11 national security concerns that coincide with both an extended economic recession and a decade which concludes with the most explosive movement of inbound migration in United States history.

Particular attention will be given to the intersections between civil rights law, and in particular labor/employment law, and new trends in the federal and State immigration law and policy. In addition, the course will explore emerging issues affecting immigrants, citizens, and noncitizens in the U.S., including comprehensive immigration reform; the use of electronic employment verification systems and immigration enforcement in the workplace; racial profiling; special registration of immigrants and visitors from specific nations; detainment issues; and the use of local law enforcement officials to enforce federal immigration laws and policies.

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