Oct. 19, 2006
Vol. 26 No. 3

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    Law School conference will address immigration law, policy Oct. 27, 28

    By Sabrina L. Miller
    News Office

    Adam Cox, Assistant Professor in the Law School, says now is the time to discuss and debate immigration law and policy. “There’s a lot of heated rhetoric around immigration, somewhat less reasoned dialogue and no reforms over the past year. Congress is going to have to confront these difficult regulatory problems, so this is a great time to hold a forum on these issues.”

    Each year, University law students publish a single issue of the University of Chicago Legal Forum and sponsor a symposium focusing on a timely, cutting-edge legal issue. This year the group will tackle immigration during a two-day symposium Friday, Oct. 27 and Saturday, Oct. 28.

    Kit Slack, a third-year law student, said she wrote the symposium proposal “because it seems like there is going to be a lot of new immigration policy made, or at least talked about, before I get out of law school.”

    Some of the nation’s best-known legal and human rights experts will gather at the Law School for the forum, which will feature keynote speaker Julie Myers, assistant secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

    Against the backdrop of September 11 and the ongoing issues regarding globalization and national security, the Law School is prepared to delve into the subject, Cox said. “Part of the work to be done is to answer: What are the most important questions surrounding these issues? Only then can we take concrete steps to reform immigration policy,” Cox said.

    Cox will moderate the opening panel titled “Assimilation and Local Control of Immigration” and will serve as a panelist with Eric Posner. Cox and Posner recently co-authored a paper that raises questions about how immigrants are screened for entry into the United States.

    In addition to Posner, the Kirkland & Ellis Professor in the Law School, other participants include Maria Woltjen, Director of the Immigrant Children’s Advocacy Project in the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic, Susan Gzesh, Director of the Human Rights Program at the University, and Mae Ngai, a Columbia University history professor who specializes in immigration and citizenship issues, among others.

    “Pretty much everyone we invited is coming, which just amazed us,” Slack said.

    The symposium is geared toward the University community and immigration and human rights practitioners, Slack said, adding that the symposium also is open to the public.

    More information about the event and its line-up can be found at http://legal-forum.uchicago.edu/.