On July 21, 2017, Professor Jennifer Koh co-authored an amicus brief on behalf of 35 immigration law professors and clinicians in Garcia-Martinez v. Sessions, No. 16-72940, arguing that the immigration law definition of a “crime involving moral turpitude” is unconstitutionally vague under the void for vagueness doctrine. The amicus brief drew upon arguments discussed in Professor Koh’s 2016 law review article, Crimmigration and the Void for Vagueness Doctrine, 2016 Wis. L. Rev. 1127. The brief was co-authored by Professor Kari Hong, an Assistant Professor at Boston College Law School.
On May 19, 2017, Professor Jennifer Koh participated in the Emerging Immigration Law Professors Conference at Texas A&M School of Law. She spoke on a panel addressing Immigration Scholarship in the Trump Era, during which she shared advice on research and writing. She also presented an early version of a work-in-progress, entitled, “Constitutional Black Holes in Immigration Law: When Shadow Removals Collide,” and served as a discussant for several colleagues’ works-in-progress. Her participation in the conference, along with the contributions of numerous attendees, was highlighted on the Immigration Law Professors Blog.
Professor Jennifer Koh has published, “Removal in the Shadows of Immigration Court” in the Southern California Law Review. The Article contends that critiques of immigration adjudication are incomplete and understated, because they have failed to account for the following reality: the vast majority of persons ordered removed never step foot inside a courtroom. Even when cases commence before the immigration courts, a substantial number result in removal orders without adjudication of the merits of the case. Removal in what this Article calls the “shadows of immigration court” has far eclipsed standard removal proceedings. The Article provides a descriptive account of five types of removal orders that comprise immigration court’s shadows: (1) expedited removal at the border, (2) reinstatement of prior removal orders, (3) administrative removal of non-lawful permanent residents with aggravated felony convictions, (4) stipulated removal orders following waivers of the right to a court hearing, and (5) in absentia orders for failure to appear in immigration court. The Article identifies several concerns that apply to mainstream immigration court proceedings, and asserts that those critiques are amplified in such shadow proceedings. It concludes by arguing for more sustained inclusion of shadow proceedings in reform proposals directed at improving immigration adjudication. The citation for the article is Jennifer Lee Koh, Removal in the Shadows of Immigration Court, 90 S. Cal. L. Rev. 181 (2017).
On March 24, Professor Jennifer Koh spoke at Ohio Northern Law School at the Ohio Northern Law Review’s annual symposium, entitled, “Defining Law in a Time of Terror.” She plans to publish an essay in the law review in connection with the symposium.
On April 7, Professor Jennifer Koh participated in a panel entitled “Responses to Gender-Based Violence in the Trump Era,” which took place in connection with a conference on the Politicization of Safety sponsored by the UCI Initiative to End Family Violence. Her comments focused on the impact of current immigration enforcement policies on domestic violence in immigrant communities.
On March 10, 2017, Professor Jennifer Koh presented at the annual Nootbaar Institute Conference at Pepperdine Law School. The theme of this year’s conference was “Religious Critiques of the Law.” Professor Koh spoke on a panel entitled, “Religious Critiques of Civil Rights,” and her presentation focused on the connections between the faith commitments of Christianity and the literature on the intersection of criminal and immigration law, also known as “crimmigration.”
Professor Jennifer Koh recently published Crimmigration and the Void for Vagueness in the Wisconsin Law Review. The article discusses the application of the void for vagueness doctrine to crime-based removal provisions in the immigration law. It argues that the federal courts should find several immigration provisions unconstitutionally vague because the twin values animating vagueness doctrine–providing reasonable notice and preventing arbitrary or discriminatory law enforcement practices–apply with exceptional force in immigration, an area of law in which the liberty stakes of the crime-based removal grounds are high, notice is critical, and the risk of arbitrariness and discrimination by government actors at multiple levels is acute. The article was cited in the merits brief of the Respondent as well as the amicus brief submitted by the National Immigration Project to the United States Supreme Court in Sessions v. Dimaya, a case involving whether 18 U.S.C. sec. 16(b), as incorporated into the federal immigration law, is unconstitutionally vague. The citation for the article is 2016 Wis. L. Rev. 1127.