Hiroshi Motomura earns prestigious scholarly residency in Italy

April 29, 2024
Hiroshi Motomura

UCLA School of Law professor Hiroshi Motomura has been honored with an invitation to join the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center Residency Program, one of the world’s most esteemed and highly selective projects for confronting complex challenges in government, science, the arts, law and more. Motomura will join 14 other residents during a month-long residency at the Bellagio Center, on the shores of Italy’s Lake Como, in May.

The program has been a hub of thought, analysis and discussion for more than 60 years. It has “been a backdrop for history as academics, artists, and practitioners from around the world have gathered to unlock their creativity and advance groundbreaking work. Rather than a retreat for private reflection, the Bellagio Center residency offers an opportunity to advance a specific breakthrough project and a stimulating environment to forge cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural connections with other residents.” Past participants include U.S. Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, author Maya Angelou, journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and UCLA Law professors Kimberlé Crenshaw, Carole Goldberg and Joel Handler.

Motomura is among the nation’s leading scholars and advocates in immigration law. He is UCLA Law’s Susan Westerberg Prager Distinguished Professor of Law and faculty co-director of the law school’s Center for Immigration Law and Policy.

During his residency, he expects to wrap up work on his next book, Borders and Belonging, which is due to be published by Oxford University Press in early 2025. Intended as the third part in a trilogy on immigration law and policy, the book offers a comprehensive look at migration, assessing immigration from multiple perspectives and reflecting on the law and larger questions. These include whether immigrants’ rights are civil rights or human rights, how to think about the time dimension of immigration policy, and what it means to address migration’s root causes. It follows Motomura’s previous acclaimed books, Americans in Waiting: The Lost Story of Immigration and Citizenship in the United States (Oxford University Press, 2006) and Immigration Outside the Law (Oxford University Press, 2014).

“This residency is such an honor, and I’m looking forward to learning from some of the world’s leading thinkers,” Motomura says. “It also comes at a terrific time, when I have a complete draft of my book and can refine its analysis in conversation with the other residents, from many disciplines and from around the world. I’m excited about discussing the ideas with people who will undoubtedly be creative and thoughtful, and who will push me in new directions.”

Previously, Motomura received a 2018 Guggenheim fellowship. It was just one of numerous accomplishments and accolades that he has earned for his impactful scholarship and advocacy during his career spanning more than four decades. A member of the UCLA Law faculty since 2007, his courses include Immigration Law and the Immigrants’ Rights Policy Clinic. He won the law school’s top teaching honor, the Rutter Award for Excellence in Teaching, in 2021.

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