On October 13, Professor Jennifer Koh spoke on a panel at the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Rocky Mountain Conference on Crimmigration in Denver, Colorado at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. The panel focused on legal strategies to defend against expedited removal and reinstatement of removal, two forms of removal used by the Department of Homeland Security to deport immigrants without providing immigration court hearings.
Professor Jennifer Koh has published, “Anticipating Expansion, Committing to Resistance: Removal in the Shadows of Immigration Court under Trump,” in the Ohio Northern Law Review, 43 Ohio N.U. L. Rev. 459 (2017). This invited symposium essay discusses the early indications of the Trump Administration’s plans to expand what Professor Koh has called the “shadows” of immigration court, referring to mechanisms in which the government deports people with little to no involvement from immigration courts and judges. It considers the implications of such an expansion for immigrant communities and for advocacy in the immigrants’ rights field, with a focus on the potential for both legal and non-legal interventions. It concludes by calling on lawyers, organizers and allies to consider the explosion of shadow removals in resistance efforts.
On September 19, Professors Jennifer Koh and Sabrina Rivera, and Western State student Nathalie Cedeno, were recognized by the Santa Ana City Council for their efforts – along with a coalition of other attorneys and advocates – to support the City’s efforts to establish an Immigration Legal Defense Fund. Earlier this year, the Santa Ana City Council allocated $65,000 towards the creation of a legal defense fund that will support efforts to provide legal services to Santa Ana residents facing deportation, the first of its kind in Orange County. The recognition was presented at the city council meeting by Councilmember Vincent Sarmiento.
Professor Jennifer Koh delivered the keynote address for Women For: Orange County’s annual Suffrage Day Luncheon, which honors Orange County individuals who embody the spirit and characteristics of those who have struggled courageously for women’s suffrage and other Human Rights. The title of her speech was, “Re-imagining Political Activism in Orange County.” This year’s honorees were Peggy Thompson, Felicity Figueroa, Martha Milichek, and Ana Gonzalez.
On July 21, 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).