Sessions Information

  • January 4, 2017
    8:30 am - 10:15 am
    Session Type: AALS Discussion Groups
    Session Capacity: N/A
    Hotel: Hilton San Francisco Union Square
    Room: Golden Gate 1
    Floor: Lobby Level
    Discussion Groups provide an in-depth discussion of a topic by a small group of invited discussants selected in advance by the Annual Meeting Program Committee. In addition to the invited discussants, additional discussants were selected through a Call for Participation. There will be limited seating for audience members to observe the discussion groups on a first-come, first-served basis.

     This discussion group will draw attention to the complex legal and policy choices that mass migration presents to a sovereign. Since the summer of 2014, more than 100 thousand women and children have fled increasing violence in Central America. Citing national security concerns, and a desire to discourage vulnerable individuals from making the dangerous journey north, the U.S. government has pursued aggressive steps to expeditiously return these individuals and have routinely detained women and children. Such practices raise concerns regarding U.S. compliance with legal obligations arising from both domestic and international law. Indeed, critics of these practices maintain that the individuals fleeing should be processed as refugees and that practices and protocols related to children should be grounded in the best interest of the child principle.


    Discussants will evaluate U.S justifications for its current treatment of these individuals with a focus on national security concerns and prerogative of a sovereign to secure its borders. The discussion will focus on whether current tactics are normatively problematic and whether such proposals are pragmatically capable of implementation. The discussion group will focus on the root causes of recent migration to better appraise potential solutions. Ultimately, the participants will discuss the range of policy options available to the U.S government and highlight the role law schools can have in formulating and implementing such opportunities.   

Session Speakers
University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law
Discussion Group Participant

Louisiana State University, Paul M. Hebert Law Center
Discussion Group Participant

Brigham Young University, J. Reuben Clark Law School
Discussion Group Participant

Willamette University College of Law
Discussion Group Participant

University of California, Irvine School of Law
Discussion Group Participant

University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law
Discussion Group Participant

Kids in Need of Defense
Discussion Group Participant

The University of Texas School of Law
Discussion Group Participant

University of California College of the Law, San Francisco
Discussion Group Participant

Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law
Discussion Group Moderator

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
Discussion Group Participant

American University, Washington College of Law
Discussion Group Participant

Georgia State University College of Law
Discussion Group Participant

Session Fees

Fees information is not available at this time.