Border Policy and Politics

Section 1, Spring 20
Clarens, Kristin

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 12/13
Credits: 3

Course Description

This course will explore the main issues and challenges being faced by asylum seekers at the US-Mexican border. We will focus particularly on the recent changes to US immigration policy such as metering, the Migrant Protection Protocols, and the Safe Third Country doctrine as currently applied. We will investigate geopolitical relationships such as those between the United States and Guatemala that have dictated both governmental response and individual migration decisions. And most significantly, we will dive into the migration experiences of people attempting to seek asylum at the Mexican border: how they interact with legal and political systems during their journey to the United States; how they are processed, detained, and released upon arrival; and how recent administrative decisions have impacted those aspects of their migration. We will contextualize the migration process of individuals at the US-Mexico border within the broader narrative of global immigration crises in an effort to understand one of them most challenging and critical human rights issues we face.

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Midterm Type (if any): None
Description: None

Final Type (if any): None
Description: None
Final Exam Notes:


Written Work Product
Written Work Product: Students will be required to submit a paper via EXPO by noon (EST) on the last day of the Spring examination period. Students who do not need the credits in the course to meet their Prof. Skills graduation requirement may seek to satisfy their upper-level writing requirement with the paper in this course. To do so, however, such students must submit a completed Writing Requirement Intent Form to the Student Records Office before the deadline.

Other Work
Grades will be determined by a paper at the end of the semester (75%) and class participation (25%).

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: Because the credits in this course count toward the JD Program Professional Skills requirement, JD candidates will be given enrollment priority for this class. Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: No
Course Notes: This course will be taught primarily as a discussion, guided by readings and an awareness of current events related to events occurring at the US-Mexico border as well as relating to immigrants in our own community. We will also rely on simulations throughout the course, including a simulation of the immigration process and a simulation credible fear interview preparation session. Discussions will be based on the assigned readings for each class.

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: Yes
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*Yes means professor requires everyone in the course to submit a substantial research paper (which is the requirement standard in Academic Policies), so no paperwork required to be submitted to SRO. No means student must timely submit paperwork to SRO if intending to use a paper in this course to satisfy the Writing Requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

General Information

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens:
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: