Monday, April 28, 2014

DU Crimmigration Law & Policy Workshop

In March, the University of Denver Sturm College of Law hosted a workshop on Crimmigration Law & Policy Workshop: Immigration Detainers and gathered leading scholars and advocates to explore the rise of crimmigration, the impact of crimmigration on Colorado families and communities, the formation and adoption of detainer policies limiting local compliance and the litigation sparked by the widespread use of detainers. Click the link above and view program.  The recording of each panel session is available on line and no login/password is required.


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A worthy event, judging from the program. The phenomenon of "crimmigration," or the increasingly incestuous relationship between criminal law and immigration, needs to be examined and criticized. Criminal prosecution of undocumented migration has come to dominate the federal courts, while immigration consequences have become an overriding concern for noncitizen defendants in state courts.

However, I also think the convenient, catchy term for this phenomenon--crimmigration--needs to be examined and criticized as well. The term appears not only in the name of this event, but in law review articles and even in law school course titles (exhibit A, "Crimmigration: The Intersection of Criminal Law and Immigration Law Clinical Seminar" at Harvard Law School). Although the majority of my own clients require assistance because they are attempting to avoid the immigration consequences of a criminal charge or conviction, I am leery of describing my practice as crimmigration.

A label is a dangerous thing, particularly one that is vulnerable to being exploited or co-opted. In this case, I fear the term crimmigration will, if it moves into common discourse, further reinforce the identification of immigration and immigrants with crime. I fear the term will further the evil it describes and implicitly criticizes.

Posted by: Scott Mossman | Apr 29, 2014 9:30:24 PM

Comments well taken, Scott. You have given immigration law professors, who like coining terms and catch phrases, food for thought. Let us at ImmigrationProf know if you would like to expand your thoughts on "crimmigration" in a guest post. Thanks.

Posted by: Immigration Prof | Apr 30, 2014 3:59:55 AM

Thanks for your comments, Scott. You have given immigration law professors much to think about with your comments. Might you be willing to do a guest post on the ImmigrationProf blog about the term "crimmigration" from a lawyer's perspective?

Posted by: Immigration Prof | Apr 30, 2014 4:06:26 AM

Great thoughts, Scott. Thanks for commenting. Any interest in doing a guest post on the potential detrimental use of the term "crimmigration" that elaborates on these thoughts?

Posted by: Immigration Prof | Apr 30, 2014 10:36:41 AM

Sure, let me think about how I might expand this.

Posted by: Scott Mossman | May 1, 2014 8:30:04 PM

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