Asylum and Refugee Law

Seminar - 3 hours.  This seminar will aim to cover the bedrock legal principles that have informed U.S. asylum and refugee law, policies and practices in the last 50 years. Informed by international norms, the U.S. adopted its domestic legal regime in this area of law in the 1980s. Through significant advocacy and litigation, asylum and refugee protections expanded over decades to cover broader areas such as gender-based violence by private actors. The U.S. also retracted important protections based on national security, fraud, floodgate concerns, and most recently, pandemic. At the same time, ongoing global crisis and unrests continue to push new waves of forced migration adding to a backlog of displaced persons, many of whom fall outside existing asylum and refugee protections. We study the transformation of this area of the law and the strategies and efforts to preserve and even expand protections.

Graduation Requirements: May satisfy Advanced Writing Requirement with instructor's permission.
Final Assessment: Paper

This course is a foundation course for the immigration law certificate and may be used to satisfy the writing requirement for the certificate and/or the advanced writing requirement.

Advanced Writing
Professional Skills
Course Number

Certificate Requirement


Unit 16