David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy

Professor Motomura Named a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow

Hiroshi MotomuraUCLA School of Law professor Hiroshi Motomura, one of the nation's leading experts on immigration law and policy, has been named a Guggenheim Fellow for 2017.

The honor, bestowed by the Guggenheim Foundation since 1925, recognizes leaders in educational, artistic and scientific endeavors who improve international understanding through their work. In announcing the award, the foundation stated Motomura is "a leading scholar of immigration and citizenship law, with influence across a range of academic disciplines and in federal, state, and local policymaking."

Motomura joined the UCLA Law faculty in 2008 and is the Susan Westerberg Prager Professor of Law. He is the author of two books: Americans in Waiting: The Lost Story of Immigration and Citizenship in the United States (Oxford, 2006) and Immigration Outside the Law (Oxford, 2014), both of which won the Professional and Scholarly Publishing (PROSE) Award from the Association of American Publishers as the best books on legal studies in their respective years of publication.

Widely recognized as an outstanding instructor, Motomura teaches immigration law, immigration rights and civil procedure. He has received several teaching honors, including the UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award in 2014, and was one of 26 professors profiled in the book What the Best Law Teachers Do (Harvard 2013).

In 2008, Motomura served as an advisor to the Obama-Biden Transition Team's Working Group on Immigration Policy. He has testified before Congress, been a member of the American Bar Association's Commission on Immigration, worked as co-counsel on immigration cases and been a volunteer consultant on immigration policy matters.

The Guggenheim Foundation provides fellows grants of varying amounts to pursue their work.  While he is a Guggenheim Fellow, Motomura will work on a new book examining immigration policy matters. Topics will include whether immigrants' rights are best understood as a matter of civil rights or human rights; how mass migrations due to armed conflict, breakdowns in civil society, and environmental degradation impact the immigration conversation; the impact of economic inequality on immigration policy; and the implications of policies that offer immigrants no path to citizenship.

Before joining UCLA Law, Motomura was on the faculty of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the University of Colorado, Boulder. Born in Japan and raised in California, he earned his J.D. from UC Berkeley.

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