Law 332 - Immigrants' Rights

Hiroshi Motomura

Hiroshi Motomura

Susan Westerberg Prager Distinguished Professor of Law
Inaugural Faculty Director, Center for Immigration Law and Policy
B.A. Yale, 1974
J.D. UC Berkeley, 1978
UCLA Faculty Since 2007
Course Description:

This course examines the rights (and responsibilities) of noncitizens.  Put differently, this course analyzes why and how immigration or citizenship status matters in the life of an individual, family, or community.  (In contrast, the Immigration Law course, Law 331, considers the acquisition and loss of immigration and citizenship status.)  In this two-credit version, course coverage will be selective.  Priority topics include the state and local role in immigration (including sanctuary laws and state and local enforcement), and educational access (including undocumented access to K-12 and higher education and DACA).  We may also devote time to public benefits (including “public charge” rules), and to noncitizens in politics (including noncitizen voting and inclusion in legislative reapportionment).  Overall, the course explores the citizen/noncitizen distinction and what it means to be "foreign." 

Law 331 (Immigration Law) is not a prerequisite; the two courses complement each other with minimal overlap.

Course Learning Outcomes:

This course offers an opportunity to acquire a strong command of several key areas of immigrants’ rights doctrine, with a particular focus on the doctrines that define the role of state and local governments in governing the lives of noncitizens in the United States. The course will focus largely on undocumented noncitizens, but will also devote some attention to noncitizens in other situations, including lawful nonimmigrants and lawful permanent residents. Specific doctrinal areas will include federalism, equal protection, and other constitutional law issues, as well as aspects of key statutes and regulations on educational access and local enforcement of federal immigration law. Beyond this substantive knowledge, this course offers an opportunity to learn to read complex statutes, and to analyze the interaction between statutes and the Constitution. In addition, you should expect to delve into the evolution of immigrants’ rights in the context of institutional, historical, economic, and political forces. In this respect, this course is an opportunity to understand the role of law in broader societal context. This course will also provide opportunities to think about immigration law in practical contexts: how, for example, would you structure a brief to be filed in litigation that challenges (or defends) new “sanctuary” legislation enacted by a state or local government?

This course will not satisfy the Professional Responsibility requirement, and it will not satisfy the substantial analytic writing (SAW) requirement.

Immigration Law;