Law / Legislation

Law / Legislation

International Migration, U.S. Immigration Law and Civil Society: From the Colonial Era to the 113th Congress
The series draws on contributions from leading scholars and practitioners in the field. Joseph Chamie, the former director of the United Nations Population Division and former editor of the International Migration Review, provides a magisterial overview of migration flows to and within the Americas over the last 525 years, with particular focus on the United States and the territory that became the United States. He also highlights several themes that weave through this long history. Charles Wheeler, a senior attorney and director of training and legal support for the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), provides a concise and timely history of US immigration law and policy, starting in the colonial era and leading to the current impasse on immigration reform. Sara Campos, a freelance writer and the former director of the Asylum Program for the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights in San Francisco, writes a groundbreaking chapter on the growing role of civil society in the US immigrant communities and in the US immigration debate. All three chapters, as well as an introduction by Mr. Kerwin, speak very directly to the US immigration debate.

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Making Immigrants into Criminals: Legal Processes of Criminalization in the Post-IIRIRA Era
Criminalizing immigrants has underpinned US immigration policy over the last several decades. This paper examines the processes of immigrant criminalization in three contexts: 1) the legal history that has produced the current situation, 2) enforcement programs and practices at the border and interior, and 3) the consequences for immigrants and their families living in the United States. In examining such processes, this paper extends the discussion of the criminalization of immigrants beyond the existing literature, on two basic counts. First, it focuses on legislative changes that paved the way for the passage of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) and the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) in 1996, which was a crucial year for the criminalization of immigration. Second, this paper documents how the criminalization of immigrants turns people and indeed whole communities, into law enforcement objects through specific programs and practices, and how immigrants experience this in their family, school, and work lives.

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Migration Experts Series | Michael Doyle
Michael W. Doyle is the Director of the Columbia Global Policy Initiative and University Professor of Columbia University, affiliated with the School of International and Public Affairs, the Department of Political Science, and the Law School. At Columbia, he co-directs...

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Proposals for the Negotiation Process on the United Nations Global Compact for Migration
Projected for adoption in 2018, the global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration (“the compact”) will address how United Nations member states should respond to international migration at the national, regional, and international levels, as well as issues related to migration and development. This paper examines the main elements of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, which called for the establishment of the compact. It argues that participants in the compact’s negotiation process should aim to balance the concerns of states with the needs and rights of migrants. The paper also analyzes documents by the Special Representative for the Secretary-General and the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants that should inform the compact. Lastly, the paper makes recommendations on the content of the compact. It recommends that the compact should define state protection responsibilities related to mixed migrant and refugee flows; embrace the role of civil society, the private sector, and academic institutions; outline an institutional framework for implementation; and establish a mechanism to fund migration policies for states and a mechanism to review migration policies.

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A Sad Day for Dreamers and US Citizens
In the past weeks, communities in Texas and Louisiana suffered the loss of life and property to a degree that most of us will never experience. This seemed like an once-in-a-lifetime disaster. Yet, on Tuesday, September 5, 2017, the Trump...

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Fate of Dreamers Will Test the Character of Our Nation
President Donald Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which temporarily protects from deportation close to 800,000 young immigrants – known as Dreamers – brought to this country as children, marks a point of demarcation...

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Responding to Hurricane Harvey and Other Natural Disasters
Hurricane Harvey has caused catastrophic flooding in Texas, forcing thousands from their homes. Many of its survivors are desperate for shelter, food, and other forms of assistance. Among the most vulnerable are the hundreds of thousands of immigrants living in...

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