Students interested in immigration law practice should start with the basic survey course, Immigration Law, which addresses a broad range of topics, including: U.S. citizenship, the history of U.S. immigration, immigrant and nonimmigrant admissions, refugees and asylum, the constitutional rights of non-citizens in connection with admission and deportation, and federal, state, and local responses to unauthorized migration. All of these topics address the acquisition and loss of immigration status. In the Immigration Law Clinic, students can put the material from the Immigration Law course into practice.
Beyond the basic survey course and clinic, students can choose from many options. Some students may anticipate practice contexts in which the principal issues are not acquisition and loss of immigration status, but rather the consequences of status for workplace rights, educational access, public benefit eligibility, etc. These students should consider the course or seminar in Immigrants’ Rights. Students interested in U.S. and international law protections for noncitizens who fear persecution in their home countries should consider the Political Asylum and Refugee Law course. Other students may expect to apply immigration law in a criminal prosecution or defense setting. These students should consider the course or seminar on Immigration Law and Crimes, as well as the Criminal Defense Clinic, which typically handles some immigration or immigration-related cases.
The law school offers additional courses in all of these directions. For example, students interested in refugees and asylum might also consider the International Human Rights courses. Students interested in workplace rights can consider the seminars on Work, Citizenship, and the Welfare State, and on Human Trafficking, Migration, and Human Rights.
Finally, several courses provide practical and theoretical context for immigration law. Administrative law can be highly useful, for immigration law is largely agency-based. Critical race theory is highly relevant in a different way; much of U.S. immigration and citizenship is best understood as part of U.S. law’s treatment of race and ethnicity.