The holidays are behind us, grades have been submitted, and another semester began yesterday. This time around I’m teaching Crimmigration Law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Built around the developing convergence of criminal law and immigration law that crimmigration.com readers know so well, this experiential seminar exposes students to the impact of criminal activity on a migrant’s ability to remain in the United States, how the criminal justice system takes into account immigration status, and how law enforcement tactics make it increasingly difficult to discern criminal from civil enforcement measures.
While I have taught versions of this class before, this is the first time I will be using my book Crimmigration Law as the primary text. Alongside that I’ve assigned readings from academic journals, popular media, and, of course, legal texts (judicial opinions, statutes, and regulations). Anyone interested in reviewing the course syllabus can do so here. I’m especially excited that students will have the opportunity to hear from many of the scholars whose work they will read when the inaugural Crimmigration Law Lecture Series gets underway at DU later this spring (I’ll announce details about the lecture series soon). To get enmeshed in the breadth of crimmigration law and policy, students will be required to analyze actual (redacted) case files as well as propose a policy change of their choosing.
The class, like the lecture series, seek to come to terms with the changed reality of contemporary policing and law in the United States. It’s no longer defensible to segregate immigration law from criminal law in separate silos as was traditionally done. Today and for the last several years, what happens in one setting frequently affects the other. The U.S. Supreme Court recognized this in Padilla v. Kentucky and attorneys throughout the country see this in their clients’ lives every day. The students enrolled in this course are aware of this and are doing their part to prepare themselves for law practice in the boundary-blurring twenty-first century. Wish me luck as I try to guide them.
Find this information helpful? Learn more from Crimmigration Law, César’s book.