Stephen Lee nurtures ongoing discussion of immigration issues

August 12, 2013

Image of Stephen Lee

Prof. Stephen Lee has published an article in the California Law Review, “De Facto Immigration Courts.” The article, which appeared in the June issue, observes that in many instances, a non-citizen’s only meaningful opportunity to avoid removal arises in upstream criminal proceedings, which has transformed our nation's inferior criminal courts into de facto immigration courts. As a result, the article argues, local prosecutors have emerged as gatekeepers capable of deviating from or completely unsettling federal immigration enforcement priorities, a quality that distinguishes them from other local actors participating in immigration enforcement. The article goes on to explore how Congress and the Court might accommodate this nascent reality.

Also in June, Lee chaired the planning committee that organized an immigration symposium for emerging faculty. The purpose of the conference was to create a space for junior immigration law scholars and teachers to share drafts of their research projects, to discuss teaching techniques, and to further develop a sense of community.