The protection of human rights is intrinsically linked to global human mobility. As people move across borders due to factors such as conflict, economic disparities and environmental challenges, the intersection of human rights and immigration law becomes increasingly complex. The responses to migration — shaped by political polarization, the rise of authoritarianism and a lack of political will from political leaders — often pose significant challenges to human rights protection. These same factors also influence migration trends, creating a complex interplay between human mobility and the safeguarding of fundamental rights. 

The Immigration, Migration and Human Rights Program allows students to engage with these intersections and also explore the full range of opportunities available in the human rights and immigration fields, at home and abroad, through hands-on experiences. Courses and extracurricular opportunities allow students to learn about the key legal and public policy issues involved in immigration and human rights, including international legal enforcement for human rights, political asylum, the impact of immigration on the economy and on national security, the role of nations and the challenges of building an effective immigration management system. 

While the program directly serves students pursuing careers in immigration and human rights, it also enriches students in various legal fields by exploring connections to business, criminal, family and administrative law, as well as public policy, offering all a more comprehensive legal perspective. 

The Law School provides an ideal setting for considering philosophical and theoretical concerns posed by immigration and human rights, including the meaning of national membership and cultural identity, the ethics of international relations, and the link between policy and international human rights. Students also build practical skills through immigration and human rights clinics and several pro bono programs offering aid to clients. The program brings in expert speakers on immigration and human rights, including leading attorneys and policy advocates, immigration judges and government officials.

Faculty Director(s)
Kevin Cope
Associate Professor of Law
Associate Professor of Law and Public Policy, Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
Affiliated Faculty, Department of Politics
Director, Immigration, Migration and Human Rights Program
Amanda Frost
John A. Ewald Jr. Research Professor of Law
Director, Immigration, Migration and Human Rights Program
Nelson Camilo Sánchez León
Associate Professor of Law, General Faculty
Director, Immigration, Migration and Human Rights Program
Director, International Human Rights Law Clinic