Skip to content

Live Blog from UNAM International Immigration Conference

Posted By Kevin R. Johnson, Mar 26, 2015

I am blogging live today from an immigration conference at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) in Mexico City. UNAM is a historic place.

Sign
A sign heralding one of UNAM's historic milestones

Here is our UC Davis delegation!

Four
L-R: Cruz Reynoso, Beth Greenwood, Leticia Saucedo, and me

After a welcome from the three cosponsoring law school (UNAM, Monterrey Tech, UC Davis) deans, the first panel (Overview, History and Culture of Immigration) offered an excellent foundation for the day.  Professor Nicolas Foucras (Monterrey Tech) talked about migration as a reflection of global economic pressures.  I offered an overview of contemporary U.S. immigration law.  Professor Gabriela de la Paz (Monterrey Tech) discussed the implementation of U.S. immigration policies in the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations based on her interviews with U.S. immigration enforcement officers in the border region, including McAllen and Laredo, Texas).

Panel
Professors Reynoso and Saucedo on Panel 2

The second panel (Undocumented Immigrants in the U.S.: Impact, Challenges and Enforcement) began with Professor Leticia Saucedo talked about the history of U.S. immigration law resulting in the emergence in the modern undocumented immigrant population in the United States.  She also documented the record-setting removals of immigrants from the United States during the Obama administration.  Offering a personal as well as historical account, Professor Cruz Reynoso provided thoughts on the challenges facing undocumented immigrants in the United States and offered his opinions on the various immigration policies of the Obama administration (including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program).  Professor Gregory Hicks ended the panel with a discussion of the common environmental dangers faced by immigrants in agricultural work far from the border, with a focus on California.

Panel 3 (Impact of the Immigration Laws on the Individual) began with Professor Mariana Gabarrot (Monterrey Tech) looked at transnational space and family and considered exclusion in education and health opportunities for, as well as the prevalence of poverty among, migrants in the United States.  Professor Gerry Andrianopoulus (Monterrey Tech) discussed national security considerations in the U.S. immigration debate and reviewed public opinion polls showing less concern today than a few years ago with border security; he also analyzed the politics that led to the border fence (or border wall if you are against it)..  Dean Maria Leoba Castaneda Rivas (UNAM) discussed humanitarian legal assistance for immigrants.   Professor Leticia Saucedo (UC Davis) looked at  the impacts of U.S. immigration laws on the employment of Mexican citizens.

The discussions have been rich and everyone did well as English talks were translated into Spanish for the native Spanish speakers and Spanish talks were translated into English for the native English speakers.  The question and answer sessions after each panel were particularly illuminating, with a rich exchange of ideas from a variety of national and disciplinary perspectives.

Much thanks to Dean Maria Loeba Castaneda Rivas, Dean of UNAM, for her gracious hospitality and ensuring that all participants were treated like royalty. 

MOU and deans
UNAM Dean Maria Loeba Castaneda Rivas and I signed an MOU to provide for collaborations between our schools.

Thanks also to Dean Gabriel Cavazos, Monterrey Tech, for cosponsoring the event and ensuring that it was successful. Beth Greenwood, Executive Director of International Programs (UC Davis School of Law), and Concha Romero, both were instrumental in making the event a successful international collaboration on one of the most pressing public policy issues of our time. 

For more live blog entries from the conference in Mexico City, visit Immigration Prof Blog.


International Immigration Conference in Mexico City

Posted By Kevin R. Johnson, Mar 25, 2015

UC Davis School of Law, the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and the Monterrey Institute of Technology are co-sponsoring an international conference on immigration at UNAM in Mexico City on March 26.

Mexico Conference

I am joining immigration experts Professors Leticia Saucedo and Cruz Reynoso from UC Davis to participate in a conference with colleagues from Mexico's top universities to explore the history of immigration policy and law, the present context of immigration in labor and the environment, and the human impact of immigration on families, their daily lives, and their human rights. The program will also examine the future of immigration law and policy as it impacts both the United States and Mexico.

Here is the schedule for the conference.  The Deans of the sponsor law schools (Dra. Maria Castaneda Rivas (UNAM), Kevin Johnson (UC Davis), and Gabriel Cavazos (Monterrey Tech)) will welcome the participants.

Panel 1 is entitled "Overview, History, and Culture of Immigration."  Panelists included Professors Nicolás Foucras (Monterrey Tech) and Gabriela de la Paz (Monterrey Tech).  I am also on the panel and my presentation will focus on the history of immigration law and enforcement in the United States.

Panel 2 ("Undocumented Immigrants in the US:  Impact, Challenges and Enforcement") includes Professors Leticia Saucedo (UC Davis), Cruz Reynoso (UC Davis), and Gregory Hicks (University of Washington).

Panel 3 ("Impact on Individuals") includes Professors Mariana Gabarrot (Monterrey Tech), Dean María Leoba Castaneda Rivas (UNAM), and Leticia Saucedo  (UC Davis).

Panel 4 ("Long Term Immigration Policy") includes Gerry Andrianopoulos (Monterrey Tech) and Victor Hugo Perez Hernandez (UNAM). I will discuss possible reforms to U.S. immigration law and policy.

The conference follows an "Immigration Dialogue" for law deans from the Pacific Rim hosted by UC Davis School of Law in October 2014. The conference provided an opportunity for legal experts to explore challenging issues related to immigration as it impacts both countries.

Beth Greenwood, Executive Director International Programs and the LL.M. program (UC Davis), and Concha Romero were instrumental in organizing the conference.


Breaking News: California Grants Law License to Hong Yen Chang

Posted By Kevin R. Johnson, Mar 16, 2015

Today, the California Supreme Court today issued its opinion in In Re Hong Yen Chang. The first line says it all: "We grant Hong Yen Chang posthumous admission as an attorney and counselor at law in all courts of the state of California." (emphasis added).

Hong Yen Chang

More than a century ago, Chang was denied the opportunity to practice law in California because of his race.  Professor Jack Chin, a leading civil rights law professor, has been working on the case with the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association students and the law firm of Munger Tolles & Olson LLP.

Jack and APALSA students

Congratulations to all involved in this important effort to right a historic wrong. Congratulations, too, to the family of Hong Yen Chang, many of whom are lawyers right here in California.

See coverage of today's developments from major news outlets including Reuters, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Associated Press, among others.