LAW 453: Introduction to Immigration Law and Policy

This course will introduce students to the basic legal and administrative structure of the U.S. immigration system. We will consider how the law determines who may enter the country lawfully, what rights immigrants have once in the country, and on what grounds they can be forced to leave and return to their home countries. As the class progresses, we will build on this legal framework to consider several of the policy debates regarding immigration that currently embroil the nation. In discussing possible policy reforms, we will consider a broad range of perspectives, drawing on academic scholarship, policy research, and judicial opinions that capture views across the political spectrum. Throughout the class, we will also ground our discussion in present day realities, by inviting in guest speakers, arranging field trips, and focusing on case studies of immigration policies that directly impact Tucson and its surroundings. At the same time, we will also broaden our discussion to encompass historical and geographic experiences beyond our immediate surroundings. We will repeatedly question the extent to which the immigration debates in Arizona are unique versus representative of the national picture.