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Immigration and refugee law, presidential powers, international human rights, constitutional law

David A. Martin

Warner-Booker Distinguished Professor of International Law Emeritus
J.D., Yale Law School, 1975
B.A., DePauw University, 1970

A leading scholar in immigration, constitutional law and international law, David A. Martin has helped shape immigration and refugee policy while serving in several key U.S. government posts. He joined the Virginia law faculty in 1980, after a period of private practice in Washington, D.C., and service as special assistant to the assistant secretary in the State Department’s new human rights bureau. He has published numerous books and articles in scholarly journals, including a leading casebook on immigration and citizenship law, now in its seventh edition. His op-ed commentary has been published in The Washington Post, The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, Legal Times, and The National Law Journal, among others.

As principal deputy general counsel of the Department of Homeland Security from January 2009 to December 2010, and in earlier government service at the Department of State and the Department of Justice (including an appointment as general counsel to the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1995-98), Martin was closely involved in critical legal and policy developments in the immigration field. These included the Refugee Act of 1980, a major alteration of U.S. asylum procedures in 1995, implementation of the 1996 statutory amendments to the immigration laws, Obama administration reforms of enforcement priorities and the detention system used in connection with immigration removal proceedings, and the federal government’s 2010 lawsuit against Arizona’s restrictive immigration enforcement law. He also served as DHS’ representative on the interdepartmental task forces created by President Obama’s executive orders for evaluating the cases of all detainees at Guantánamo and for reviewing overall detention policies in the battle against terrorism.

A graduate of DePauw University and Yale Law School (where he was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal), Martin served as a law clerk for Judge J. Skelly Wright and Justice Lewis F. Powell Jr. In 1988 he chaired the Immigration Section of the Association of American Law Schools, and from 2003-05 he served as vice president of the American Society of International Law. He has held a German Marshall Fund fellowship for research in Geneva, and he serves on the board of editors of the American Journal of International Law and the International Migration Review.

Scholarship Profile: A Trailblazer in Immigration and Refugee Law
Virginia Journal 2001)

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Forced Migration: Law and Policy (with T. Alexander Aleinikoff, Hiroshi Motomura and Maryellen Fullerton) (West, 2d ed. 2013).

Immigration and Citizenship: Process and Policy (with T. Alexander Aleinikoff, Hiroshi Motomura, and Maryellen Fullerton) (West, 7th ed. 2012).

The Immigration Debate (Miller Center of Public Affairs, University of Virginia, 2008).

Forced Migration: Law and Policy (with T. Alexander Aleinikoff, Hiroshi Motomura & Maryellen Fullerton) (Thomson/West, 2007).

Immigration and Nationality Laws of the United States: Selected Statutes, Regulations, and Forms: As Amended to May 16, 2007 (with Thomas Alexander Aleinikoff & Hiroshi Motomura) (Thomson/West, 2007).

Asylum Case Law Sourcebook: Master Index and Case Abstracts for U.S. Court Decisions
(Thomson/West, 5th ed. 2005).

Immigration Stories (ed. with Peter H. Schuck) (Foundation Press, 2005).

The United States Refugee Admissions Program: Reforms for a New Era of Refugee Resettlement (Migration Policy Institute, 2005).

International Law: A Handbook for Judges (with David J. Bederman & Christopher J. Borgen) (American Society of International Law, 2003).

Rights and Duties of Dual Nationals: Evolution and Prospects (ed. with Kay Hailbronner) (Kluwer Law International, 2003).

Immigration and Nationality Laws of the United States: Selected Statutes, Regulations, and Forms (ed. with Thomas Alexander Aleinikoff & Hiroshi Motomura) (Thomson West., 1990; 1991; 1992; 1995; 1997; 1998, 1999; 2000; 2001; 2002; 2003).

Asylum Case Law Sourcebook (Thomson West, 1994; 2d ed. 1998; 3d ed. 2001; 4th ed. 2003) (also published in CD-ROM as part of IRIS: Immigration Research Information Service).

Immigration and Citizenship: Process and Policy (with Thomas Alexander Aleinikoff & [3d, 4th, 5th eds.] Hiroshi Motomura) (Thomson West, 1985 & Supp. 1987; interim 2d ed. 1990; 2d ed. 1991; 3d ed. 1995; 4th ed. 1998; 5th ed. 2003 supp. 2001).

Immigration Controls: The Search for Workable Policies in Germany and the United States (ed. with Kay Hailbronner & Hiroshi Motomura), Vol. 4 of Migration and Refugees: Politics and Policies in the United States and Germany (Myron Weiner, general editor) (Berghahn Books, 1998).

Immigration Admissions: the Search for Workable Policies in Germany and the United States (ed. with Kay Hailbronner & Hiroshi Motomura), Vol. 3 of Migration and Refugees: Politics and Policies in the United States and Germany (Myron Weiner, general editor), 284 pp. (Berghahn Books, 1997).

The Endless Quest: Helping America's Farm Workers (with Philip L. Martin) (Westview Press,1994).

Reforming Asylum Adjudication, 134 pp. (Administrative Conference of the United States, 1989). Revised and abbreviated version printed as "Reforming Asylum Adjudication: On Navigating the Coast of Bohemia," 138 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1247 (1990).

The New Asylum Seekers: Refugee Law in the 1980s (ed. and contributor) (Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1988).

Major Issues in Immigration Law (Federal Judicial Center, 1987).

Book Chapters/Multi-Author Works:

“Dual Citizenship: Reflections on Theodore Roosevelt’s ‘Self-Evident Absurdity’,” in Georg Jochum et al. eds., Grenzüberschreitendes Recht - Crossing Frontiers: Festschrift für Kay Hailbronner 327 (C.F. Müller, 2013).

“Eight Myths about Immigration Enforcement,” in David Coates & Peter Siavelis, eds., Getting Immigration Right: What Every American Needs to Know 149 (Potomac Books, 2009).

“Refining Immigration Law’s Role in Counterterrorism,” in Benjamin Wittes, ed., Legislating the War on Terror: An Agenda for Reform 180 (Brookings Institution Press, 2009).

Foreword to the Seventh Edition: Asylum Case Law in 2006-2007: A Year of Dialogue Between Courts and Agencies, in Asylum Case Law Sourcebook: Master Index and Case Abstracts for U.S. Court Decisions v (Thomson/West, 7th ed. 2007).

Foreword to the Sixth Edition: Major Developments in Asylum Law over the Past Year, in Asylum Case Law Sourcebook: Master Index and Case Abstracts for U.S. Court Decisions (Thomson/West, 6th ed. 2006).

"Adelaide Abankwah, Fauziya Kasinga, and the Dilemmas of Pohttp://ssrn.com/abstract=766364litical Asylum," in David A. Martin & Peter H. Schuck, eds., Immigration Stories 245 (Foundation Press, 2005).

"Citizenship in Countries of Immigration: Introduction," in Thomas Alexander Aleinikoff & Douglas Klusmeyer, eds., From Migrants to Citizens: Membership in a Changing World 25 (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 2000).

"Refugees and Migration," 1 United Nations Legal Order 391 (Oscar Schachter & Christopher C. Joyner, eds.) (Grotius, 1995).

"Human Rights Fact-Finding by National Governments," in Richard B. Lillich, ed., Fact-Finding Before International Tribunals 305 (11th Sokol Colloquium) (Transnational Publishers, 1992).

"The Refugee Concept: On Definitions, Politics, and the Careful Use of a Scarce Resource," in Howard Adelman, ed., Refugee Policy: Canada and the United States 30 (York Lanes Press, 1991).

"Human Rights: The Development of the Constitutional Framework and the Prospects for the Future: Roundtable Discussion" (with others), in Kenneth W. Thompson & Rett R. Ludwikowski, eds., Constitutionalism and Human Rights: America, Poland, and France: a Bicentennial Colloquium at the Miller Center 143 (U. Press of America, 1991).

"Immigration and Refugees," in John Norton Moore et al., eds., National Security Law 1083 (Carolina Academic Press, 1990).

"Asylum Seekers in the Western Democracies: A Comparative Overview," in Walter Kälin, ed., Droit des réfugiés 11 (Editions Universitaires Fribourg Suisse, 1991).

"New Developments in Refugee Law and Current Problems: Asylum Concept; Solidarity; and the Concept of Burden-Sharing," in Symposium on the Promotion, Dissemination and Teaching of Fundamental Human Rights of Refugees (Tokyo, 7-11 December, 1981): Collected Proceedings 61-71 (U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, 1982).


"Why Immigration's Plenary Power Doctrine Endures," Okla. L. Rev. (forthcoming).

"Resolute Enforcement is Not Just for Restrictionists: Building a Stable and Efficient Immigration Enforcement System,"
J.L. & Pol. (forthcoming).

"Interdiction of Asylum Seekers: The Realms of Policy and Law in Refugee Protection"

"Dual Citizenship: Reflections on Theodore Roosevelt's 'Self-Evident Absurdity'"

“A Defense of Immigration-Enforcement Discretion: The Legal and Policy Flaws in Kris Kobach’s Latest Crusade,” 122
Yale L.J. Online 167 (2012).

“Human Rights and Migration Management: Of Complexity, Balance, and Nuance,” 106 Proc. Am. Soc’y Int’l L. 69 (2012).

“Reading Arizona,” 98 Va. L. Rev. In Brief 41 (2012).

“Eight Myths about Immigration Enforcement,” 10 N.Y.U. J. Legis. & Pub. Pol’y 525 (2007).

“Judicial Review and the Military Commissions Act: On Striking the Right Balance,” 101
Am. J. Int’l L. 344 (2007).

“What Lures Them Here: Changes to Immigration Law Should Focus Less on the Border and More on the Job,”
Legal Times, May 29, 2006, at 66.
“Major Developments in Asylum Law over the Past Year,” 83 Interpreter Releases 1889 (Sept. 1, 2006).

"Offshore Detainees and the Role of Courts after Rasul v. Bush: The Underappreciated Virtues of Deferential Review," 25 B.C. Third World L.J. 125 (2005).

"A New Era for U.S. Refugee Resettlement," 36 Colum. Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 299 (2005).

“Preventive Detention: Immigration Law Lessons for the Enemy Combatant Debate,” 18 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 305 (2004).

"The United States Refugee Admissions Program: Reforms for a New Era of Refugee Resettlement" (U.S. Department of State, 2004).

"Behind the Scenes on a Different Set: What Congress Needs to Do in the Aftermath of St. Cyr and Nguyen," 16 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 313 (2002).

"Double Ties: Why Nations Should Learn to Love Dual Nationality" (with Thomas Alexander Aleinikoff), For. Poly, Nov./Dec. 2002, at 80.

"Fixing INS? Congress Should Take Some Blame for Our Immigration Woes," Legal Times, Apr. 29, 2002, at 51.

"Graduated Application of Constitutional Protections for Aliens: The Real Meaning of Zodvydas v. Davis," 2001 Sup. Ct. Rev. 47 (2002).

"The United States and Dual Nationality: Past and Future," 24 In Def. of the Alien 14 (2002).

"Haste, Gaps, and Some Possible Cures for the ICC [International Criminal Court]," 41 Va. J. Int’l L. 152 (2000).

"Waiting for Solutions: Extending the Period of Time for Migrants to Apply for Green Cards Doesn’t Get at the Real Problem," Legal Times, May 28, 2001, at 66-67.

"The 1995 Asylum Reforms: A Historic and Global Perspective," Center for Immigration Studies Backgrounder, May 2000.

"Expedited Removal, Detention, and Due Process," 22 In Def. of the Alien 161 (2000).

"In Elian’s Interest?" N.Y. Times, April 21, 2000, at A25.

"On Counterintuitive Consequences and Choosing the Right Control Group: A Defense of Reno v. AADC," 14 Geo. Immigr. L. J. 363 (2000).

"Two Cheers for Expedited Removal in the New Immigration Laws," 40 Va. J. Int'l L. 673 (2000).

"New Rules on Dual Nationality for a Democratizing Globe: Between Rejection and Embrace," 14 Geo. Immigr. L. J. (1999).

"Affirmative Action" (commentary published in German translation), 3/99 Zeitschrift für Kultur-Austausch 65, Fall 1999.

"Why Split the INS?: Immigration Services and Enforcement Must Be Linked," Legal Times, Sept. 6, 1999, at 21.

"How Rhetoric Became Rights," Washington Post Outlook Section, Nov. 1, 1998, at C2; reprinted as "Human Rights’ Ongoing Journey from Hopeful Rhetoric to Reality," International Herald Tribune, Nov. 26, 1998, at 9.

"Making Asylum Policy: The 1994 Reforms," 70 Wash. L. Rev. 725 (1995).

"The Civic Republican Ideal for Citizenship, and for Our Common Life," 35 Va. J. Int'l L. 301 (1994).

"Reluctance to Prosecute War Crimes: Of Causes and Cures," 34 Va. J. Int'l L. 255 (1994).

"Interdiction, Intervention, and the New Frontiers of Refugee Law and Policy," 33 Va. J. Int'l L. 473 (1993).

"Strategies for a Resistant World: Human Rights Initiatives and the Need for Alternatives to Refugee Interdiction," 26 Cornell Int'l L. J. 753 (1993).

"Tribute to William L. Robie," 16 In Def. of the Alien 213 (1993).

"Response to Gibney, et al., USA Refugee Policy: A Human Rights Analysis Update," 6 J. of Refugee Studies 153 (1993).

"Kurds and Haitians: From Refugee Legalisms to Humanitarian Intervention?" 86 Am. Soc'y. Int'l L. Proc. 623 (1992).

"Of Law, Families, and Apple Prices," Va. L. Sch. Rep., Winter 1992, at 23-26.

"Asylum Case Law: How the New Regulations Can Help," 14 In Def. of the Alien 132 (1991).

"Asylum Crises in the Western Democracies," Va. L. Wkly., Apr. 12, 1991, at 1, 4, 7.

"Alternative Futures for International Refugee Processing," 13 In Def. of the Alien 103 (1990).

"Symposium: Legal Immigration Reform: Panel II: The 'New Refugees': Remarks," 4 Geo. Immigr. L. J. 221, 232-238 (1990).

"Effects of International Law on Migration Policy and Practice: The Uses of Hypocrisy," 23 Int'l Migration Rev. 547 (1989).

"Human Rights Advances Belie Pessimism of Pioneer Activists," Daily Progress, Dec. 18, 1988, at E3.

"A Human Rights Agenda:The Routine and the Special," 28 Va. J. Int'l L. 885 (1988).

"Judicial Review of Legalization Denials," 65 Interpreter Releases 757 (1988).

"The End of De Facto Asylum: Toward a Humane and Realistic Response to Refugee Challenges," 18 Cal. W. Int'l L. J. 161 (1987/88).

"Mandel, Cheng Fan Kwok, and Other Unappealing Cases: The Next Frontier of Immigration Reform," 27 Va. J. Int'l L. 803 (1987).

"Unfinished Business: Adjudication and Review," 10 In Def. of the Alien 102 (1987).

"Comparative Policies on Political Asylum: Of Facts and Law," 9 In Def. of the Alien 105 (1986).

"International Law and the Influx of Aliens: Sanctuary and the Right to Exclude" (panel chairman), 80 Am. Soc'y. Int'l L. Proc. 95 (1986).

"Human Rights and the Movement of Persons: Remarks," 78 Am. Soc'y. Int'l L. Proc. 346 (1984).

"Due Process and Membership in the National Community: Political Asylum and Beyond," 44 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 165 (1983).

"Reevaluating the Legislative Veto after Chadha," Va. L. Wkly., Sept. 9, 1983, at 1, 3.

"Large-Scale Migrations of Asylum Seekers," 76 Am. J. Int'l L. 598 (1982).

"The Legislative Veto and the Responsible Exercise of Congressional Power," 68 Va. L. Rev. 253 (1982).

"The Refugee Act of 1980: Its Past and Future," 1982 Mich. YB Int'l Legal Stud. 91.


Policy Brief “Immigration Enforcement: Beyond the Border and the Workplace,” Migration Policy Institute, (released in connection with the Independent Task Force on Immigration and America’s Future) July 2006.

Statement on "Immigration and the Organization of the Homeland Security Department," U.S. Congress Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Hearing, June 26, 2002.

Statement in Terrorism, Asylum Issues, and U.S. Immigration Policy 43-54, 95, 100. U.S. Congress. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Hearing, May 28, 1993.

Statement. "Haitian Detention and Interdiction," 189-206. U.S. Congress. House Committee on the Judiciary. Hearing, June 8, 1989.

"Employer sanctions and the Immigration Reform and Control Act," in The Basics of Immigration Law VI-1 to VI-15 (Virginia Law Foundation, 1987).

Statement in Immigration Reform and Control Act 326-346. U.S. Congress. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Hearings, Feb. 24-Mar. 7, 1983.

Statement in The U.S. Supreme Court Decision Concerning the Legislative Veto 129-158. U.S. Congress. House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Hearings, July 19-21, 1983.

Testimony (with T. Alexander Aleinikoff and Arthur C. Helton). "Refugee Assistance," 91-121. U.S. Congress. House Committee on the Judiciary. Hearings, June 7-22, 1983.

Statement in Asylum Adjudication 126-145. U.S. Congress. Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Hearings, Oct. 14 and 16, 1981.

Book Reviews:

Review of Hathaway, The Law of Refugee Status, 87 Am. J. Int'l L. 348 (1993).

Review of Nanda, Refugee Law and Policy, 87 Am. J. Int'l L. 171 (1993).

Review of Gibney, ed., Open Borders? Closed Societies? 84 Am. J. Int'l L. 987 (1990).

"Membership and Consent: Abstract or Organic?" (reviewing Schuck & Smith, Citizenship Without Consent) 11 Yale J. Int'l L. 278 (1985).

Review of Ramcharan, ed., International Law and Fact-Finding in the Field of Human-Rights, 11 Int'l J. Legal Info. 289 (1983).

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    • Constitutional Law
    • Immigration Law
    • International Human Rights
    • Presidential Powers
    • Refugee Law
    • Seminar in Ethical Values

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