Migration, Race, & Criminalization: Federal Criminal Entry & Reentry Laws in the United States


Migration, Race, & Criminalization: Federal Criminal Entry & Reentry Laws in the United States

September 27, 2023

LOS ANGELES, CA – In June 2023, the Center for Immigration Law and Policy (CILP) at the UCLA School of Law submitted a report to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) alongside the Promise Institute for Human Rights at UCLA School of Law and several regional partners. The report details personal testimony and legal analyses of structural racism in migration throughout the Americas. The report follows our groundbreaking hearing before the IACHR in March 2023, where we were joined by more than a dozen partner organizations working across the Americas to present at a thematic hearing regarding human mobility, structural racism, and the need for an anti-racist approach. Read the full report here: https://bit.ly/3EVhesj

The report fleshes out the analysis shared by each group during the hearing. The bottom line: Who is forced to migrate, and what they experience along the journey, is indelibly marked by race for people on the move in the Americas.

One portion of the report, drafted by UCLA Law's Immigrants’ Rights Policy Clinic students, focuses on two of the most prosecuted federal crimes in the United States today: anti-immigrant laws enacted by eugenicists in 1929 to “protect white supremacy.”

Presently, the overwhelming majority of people criminalized under these laws are Latine: 93% of those criminalized under Section 1325 and 96% of those criminalized under Section 1326 in 2022 were Latine. These laws are also a central driver of family separation at the border.


Founded in 2020, the Center for Immigration Law and Policy (CILP) at the UCLA School of Law expands the law school's role as a national leader in immigration law and policy, generating innovative ideas at the intersection of immigration scholarship and practice and serving as a hub for transforming those ideas into meaningful changes in immigration policy. 

Follow CILP on Twitter (@UCLA_CILP) Instagram (@UCLA_CILP), or sign up for additional news at bit.ly/CILPnews.

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