Monday, June 29, 2020

Call For Papers--AALS 2021, Outsourced Borders and Invisible Walls

“Outsourced Borders and Invisible Walls”
Association of American Law Schools · Section on Immigration Law

January 5-9, 2021· San Francisco, CA

Submission Deadline: August 15, 2020

The Section on Immigration Law of the Association of American Law Schools invites papers for presentation at its principal session during the 2021 AALS Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California, which will take place January 5-9, 2021. This session has not yet been scheduled. We will send updated information when we have it. Please note that individuals presenting at the program are responsible for their own Annual Meeting registration fee and travel expenses

The Session theme is: “Outsourced Borders and Invisible Walls.”

This panel explores the many ways that the U.S. government relies on outsourced borders and invisible walls in its immigration policy. In recent years, the U.S. has outsourced many of its immigration enforcement functions. The federal government has delegated power and responsibility for immigration enforcement to state and local governments, to private actors, and to foreign governments. In its operation of and within detention facilities that are privately owned and maintained, its formal and informal collaboration with Mexican border agents and police, in its reliance on private contractors for building a border wall, and more, the U.S. government extensively leverages other entities and governments in its immigration enforcement efforts.

At the same time, the government has constructed a number of invisible barriers to immigration. In recent years, the White House has leveraged its control of administrative agencies to promote new barriers to immigration. Agencies and actors formally charged with protecting immigrants and workers have been repurposed to bolster immigration enforcement efforts. The resulting barriers block access to opportunities to immigrate legally under existing law and complicate individuals’ efforts to regularize their immigration status.

This panel will assess these outsourced borders and invisible walls, unpack the history behind them, and discuss the impact that these developments have had on democratic accountability and on the rights of migrants and long-term U.S. residents, including citizens.

Submission Guidelines: The deadline for submissions is August 15, 2020. We welcome submissions at any stage of development, although preference may be given to more fully developed papers over abstracts and paper proposals. Priority also will be given to individuals who have not recently presented a paper at the AALS Annual Meeting. Decisions will be made by September 30, 2020.

Please email submissions in Microsoft Word format to Jennifer M. Chacón (chacon at with the subject “AALS Submission.” In your email, please indicate whether you have previously presented your work at an AALS Annual Meeting, and if so, when and in what capacity.

Inquiries: Please direct any questions or inquiries to Jennifer M. Chacón (chacon at and Kit Johnson (profkitjohnson at


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