This course will give students an in-depth look at rapidly developing areas in immigration law. Students will become familiar with the variety of adjudicators in the immigration system, navigating the relationship between Asylum Officers, Immigration Judges, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the federal courts. We explore legal topics that often arise before these adjudicatory bodies, focusing on those that generate the most frequent—and complex—litigation. Specifically, we focus on detention and bond, corroboration requirements for asylum seekers, and “categorical approach,” under which adjudicators determine whether a criminal conviction renders a respondent removable and ineligible for relief. Students will also become familiar with constitutional challenges to immigration statutes or procedures as they appear in immigration courts and the extent of executive authority under the immigration laws. Finally, we introduce students to judicial review under the Immigration & Nationality Act, the immigration rule of lenity, and the role of deference doctrines in immigration cases.
This course also provides experiential training in the field of appellate immigration practice. Instead of writing a final paper or exam, students will participate in a moot court exercise. Each student will draft the pleadings and prepare arguments for an immigration-related case currently pending in a court of appeals. During this process, the professors provide each student with individualized feedback on her brief-writing and oral advocacy.
Through this course, students will:
- Better understand judicial review under the immigration laws and the immigration adjudication procedures.
- Develop familiarity with asylum law, exclusion and removal grounds, and detention under the immigration laws.
- Gain knowledge of administrative legal practice, including concepts like administrative exhaustion requirements, administrative appeals procedures, and judicial review.
- Become familiar with appellate practice, including concepts like standard of review and findings of fact.
- Develop oral advocacy skills, including the ability to respond to present a legal argument and respond to questions from appeals judges.
- Prepare pleadings in an immigration case at the appellate level, including researching relevant caselaw and succinctly stating the facts of the case.