SMNR: Current Topics in Immigration Law and Policy

Class Unique: 29560
The current immigration debate permeates and divides our legal and political culture. Despite our country’s historical narrative as a country of immigrants, nativist tendencies have shaped immigration through U.S. history. Immigration reform has failed and some politicians call for more restrictive immigration laws. Despite the lack of immigration reform, grassroots movements such as the Dreamers have impacted the political debate leading to President Obama’s executive actions for young people and their parents who have put down roots in our communities. At the same time, the detention and deportation of immigrants, including Central American families, have reached record levels, coupled with increased border enforcement. We will explore various topics including proposals for immigration reform and reasons for Congressional inaction; border security and enforcement; detention regimes and alternatives to detention; family detention; Central American migration and the limits of asylum law; immigrant engagement and the Dreamer movement and other emerging topics. Students will write two short reflection papers (2-3 pages) that will guide class discussion. In addition, each student will write a minimum 25 page research paper on any related topic of interest and prepare a short class presentation.

Class Details

Meeting Days Time Location
Monday 3:45 - 5:35 pm JON 6.206
Evaluation Method Date Time Alpha Range Room

Additional Information

Course Type
Grading Method
Pass/Fail Allowed


  • No materials required