Immigration Law Professors Workshop

Reimagining Reform

University of California, Irvine School of Law
May 22–24, 2014

The year 2013 ended in disappointment for those who were hoping that Congress would enact a comprehensive immigration reform bill. Reform proposals died in the House of Representatives, and the bill that the Senate passed in the summer of 2013 clearly demonstrated that any future “comprehensive” immigration reform efforts that come out of Congress will be shaped by significant political compromises. Yet, even in the absence of broad legislative reform, the landscape of immigration law has changed substantially. The political activism of undocumented youth and other groups has altered the political terrain of immigration policy at the federal, state and local level, opening up new possibilities and sites of reform. At the federal level, change has come about as the result of executive policies such as DACA, detention reform, enforcement initiatives and various exercises of executive discretion. Litigation also has served as an important avenue for immigration reform, with the Supreme Court and various lower courts issuing decisions that have curtailed the scope of removal grounds and addressed questions concerning conditions of detention and access to counsel for immigrant detainees. Moreover, international agreements governing migration have continued to serve as a means of reshaping and reforming immigration policy both in the U.S. and globally.

This year’s Immigration Law Professors Workshop will allow attendees to contemplate and discuss the ways in which immigration law and policy has been and will continue to be reformed, with or without legislative action. The workshop will encourage immigration law professors to rethink how they teach and practice immigration law in the face of legislative uncertainty and the possibility of indefinite legislative inaction. Workshop attendees also will be challenged to reimagine law teaching in the context of the transformative changes facing law schools and the profession. Unlike comprehensive immigration reform, reform already has come to law schools as they confront declining enrollment and revenue streams while simultaneously seeking to make graduates more practice-ready in the face of fewer traditional legal jobs and an increasing justice gap. This workshop is a moment for educators to reimagine what curricular and pedagogical reform should look like in this new educational environment.

A major focus of the biennial Immigration Law Professors Workshop is the opportunity for immigration scholars to share scholarship in progress. Opportunities will be available to receive feedback from colleagues on draft papers and on ideas in the formative stage during incubator sessions. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS about participating in this session.

UCI Law is proud to host this two-day meeting of immigration law professors, which is organized at various locations every two years.

Please register for this conference online >

Access to secure conference website

Individuals registered for the conference can access additional conference materials and works in progress on a secure conference website. Registered participants can contact Patty Furukawa ( or Huyen Pham ( for additional information on how to access that page.