Curriculum Guide · Courses
Immigration Law and the Rights of Detained Immigrants
J.D. Practicum 1045 | 5 credit hours
Immigrants in the United States face a variety of challenges in asserting their rights. This experiential learning course will focus on challenges faced by those imprisoned while the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) tries to remove them from the United States. Hundreds of thousands are detained every year during their removal proceedings, and their numbers have doubled since 2005. Over 80% of detained immigrants are not represented in immigration court. Indigent immigrants who are incarcerated generally appear pro se and face DHS counsel in adversarial proceedings before an Immigration Judge. With the aim of preparing to help detained immigrants understand and assert their rights, students will learn about the relevant legal regimes that govern the detention and removal of immigrants in the U.S. The seminar will examine the laws, policies and practices in each of these areas. Students will study and learn through experience the role of counsel with respect to protecting the rights of detained immigrants. Students will extern with advocacy organizations either conducting intake interviews aimed at assessing an immigrant’s eligibility for relief from deportation and making legal presentations, or engaging in policy research and analysis. To prepare students for learning new areas of law, students will conduct research and make class presentations. In order to maximize learning from the externships, students will write regular reflections on their field experience and on their observation of immigration court removal proceedings with the Capital Area Immigrants' Rights (CAIR) Coalition, Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), and the Women's Refugee Commission. Partnerships with advocacy organizations have been arranged for seminar participants.
Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment is recommended in Immigration Law & Policy or Refugee Law & Policy. Prerequisites: Students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).
Students may not concurrently enroll in this seminar and an externship or a clinic or another practicum course.
While not required, the ability to speak Spanish well will allow students with such skills to conduct certain field work assignments.