The new semester started last week and I’m thrilled that my crImmigration seminar is off and running. I’ve been looking forward to teaching a class devoted entirely to the convergence of criminal law and immigration law for years and the fourteen students who are currently enrolled (there’s a 15-person maximum) are letting me do it this semester for the first time.
The course is divided into three units: “criminals” in the immigration system; “immigrants” in the criminal justice system; and enforcing crImmigration. Each unit will run several weeks. The syllabus provides more detail about what we’ll cover in each section, including reading assignments, but some highlights are two weeks discussing Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473 (2010), a week on Arizona, and a week on immigration imprisonment.
Students will be required to get their hands dirty with some real-world simulations. They’ll have to write a legal brief arguing to an immigration judge that a particular offense is not a crime of violence. After that they will have to don a judicial hat and decide whether Padilla ought to apply retroactively. They will close the semester with a policy paper on a relevant topic of their choice.
I’m proud and excited that Capital Law is one of the few law schools in the country offering this type of course.