On February 8, the Western State College of Law Immigration Clinic, led by Professor Jennifer Koh and Sabrina Rivera, was presented with the Community Justice Award by Resilience OC, in recognition of its efforts to help safeguard the due process rights of Santa Ana and Orange County residents.
Resilience is a grassroots, nonprofit organization that has collaborated with the Clinic on immigration advocacy, community outreach and social justice campaigns in Orange County.
Professor Elizabeth Jones has published “Possible Problems at the San Clemente Checkpoint” in the Virginia Journal of Criminal Law, 6 Va. J. Crim. L. 43 (2018). The Article addresses the interplay between the U.S. Supreme Court law governing the immigration checkpoint program and the new, ever-shifting challenges facing the Border Patrol in administering these checkpoints. It examines recent cases originating from vehicle stops at the San Clemente checkpoint, and queries whether the government has been conducting pretextual stops at this checkpoint, and at others in the southwest border zone, to further a larger, arguably unlawful, agenda.
On January 23, Professor Kevin Mohr and Adjunct Professor Neil Pedersen joined with Western State alumna and former adjunct professor, Marla Merhab Robinson, to present a legal education program at the Orange County Bar Association (OCBA) offices on the Practical and Ethical Issues of Both the Unanticipated and Planned Closures of a Law Practice. The program was completely sold out, reflecting the importance of the topics addressed to a profession confronting the aging and retirement of the Baby Boomer generation. The program has been recorded so that lawyers unable to attend in-person can view and make use of the important guidance provided.
On January 6, Professor Jennifer Koh served as a moderator and speaker for a panel taking place at the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Annual Conference in San Diego, California. The panel, entitled “Immigration Adjudication in an Era of Mass Deportation,” was hosted by the AALS Section on Immigration Law, and examined–and critiqued–tools used by the federal government to effectuate policy goals related to mass deportation. Other speakers included Lucas Guttentag (Stanford Law School and Yale Law School), Kevin Johnson (UC Davis School of Law), Jason Cade (University of Georgia School of Law) and Nora Phillips (Al Otro Lado).
Adjunct Professor Yolanda Victoria Torres, who teaches Family Law, has been appointed by the Orange County Bar Association (OCBA) to serve a 3-year term on its Board of Directors commencing January 2018. She also was elected to serve as the President-Elect for the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association (OCHBA), commencing January 2018, and in January 2019, she will serve as its President. Professor Torres hopes to see the OCBA and OCHBA help promote diversity in the legal profession, particularly the bench; continue mentoring students at local law schools like Western State; and connect with affiliate bar associations.
On December 2, Professor Jennifer Koh spoke on a panel entitled, “The Impact of Immigration Enforcement on Higher Education” during a plenary session of the Higher Education Labor-Management Conference. The conference took place at California State University Long Beach, and was organized by the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions at Hunter College. Professor Koh’s comments focused on the potential benefits and limitations of sanctuary campuses and trends in immigration enforcement, particularly as they relate to university students.