LAW 632

Immigrants' Rights

This seminar will look closely at the rights (and responsibilities) of noncitizens in the United States.  As an overarching theme, we'll analyze when and how questions of belonging and membership in U.S. society are complicated by noncitizen status, including lawful permanent residence, nonimmigrant status, and being in an in-between status (such as TPS or DACA) or undocumented. 

In format, this seminar is a writing workshop organized around your papers.  Core requirements include (1) researching and writing a paper that will satisfy the law school's SAW requirement; (2) selecting reading materials to assign to the seminar on the topic of your paper; and (3) reading other students’ drafts and providing short written critiques.  The emphasis will be on learning about substance, writing, and editing by engaging with research projects — your own and those of other students in the seminar.

Your paper topics, taken together, will define overall seminar coverage.  A non-exhaustive list of possible topic areas includes: eligibility for health care and other public benefits; noncitizen political participation; surveillance and identity documents; access to education; temporary worker programs; workplace protections for noncitizens; human trafficking; criminal law and immigration; immigrant integration; state and local laws affecting noncitizens; links between human rights and immigrants' rights, and much more.  Students should be prepared (with help) to define a paper topic in some detail by the second week of the semester.

There are no prerequisites or co-requisites, though Immigration Law, the Immigrant Family Legal Clinic, or the Immigrants' Rights Policy Clinic would be helpful. Enrollment will be limited to 15 students.

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