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Immigration and Nationality Law Review Lecture featuring Cristina Rodriguez

Cristina Rodriguez

Lecture: “The Separation of Powers in Immigration Law”

Date: April 11, 2012
Time: 5:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m.

1 hr. of CLE credit has been approved for in Ohio and Kentucky. For more information, contact the CLE Administrator in the Dean’s Office.

About the Lecture

The Supreme Court has repeatedly declared that over no area is Congress’s authority as complete as over immigration. And yet the President and the Executive Branch have exerted enormous influence over the development of immigration policy historically, primarily through the exercise of discretion—a form of executive decision-making over which Congress has only indirect control, at best. In this address, I will consider this history of cooperation and competition in immigration law, with a particular focus on instances in which Congress has sought to reign in the Executive’s use of discretion. Examples of this dynamic include the Executive’s use of discretionary authority in the refugee context to advance executive policy objectives that differ from congressional ones, and debates over border control policy. Given the cabined nature of judicial review in this domain, the study of immigration law provides a particularly helpful lens through which to consider how legal norms and policy objectives develop through the complex and sometimes confrontational interactions of the political branches.

About the Speaker

Cristina Rodríguez always has been interested in the effects of immigration on society and culture, as well as in the legal and political strategies different societies adopt to absorb immigrant populations. She currently is writing a series of papers exploring how the constitutional and statutory law governing immigration contributes to managing the social change implicated by the large-scale movements of people across borders.

Rodríguez is a non-resident fellow of the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), a non-partisan think tank focused on the study of global migration, as well as a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In her work with MPI, Rodríguez has focused on understanding the policy implications of state and local immigration regulation, particularly state and local police involvement in immigration enforcement.

Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Rodríguez earned her B.A. in history from Yale College in 1995. She then attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, where she received a master of letters in Modern History in 1998. In 2000, Rodríguez received her J.D. from Yale Law School, where she served as an Articles Editor for the Yale Law Journal and won the Benjamin Sharps Prize for the best paper by a third-year student. Rodríguez then clerked for Judge David S. Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court. Between clerkships, she was the Reginald F. Lewis Fellow at Harvard Law School. Rodríguez joined the Law School as Assistant Professor of Law in 2004, became Associate Professor of Law in 2007, and Professor of Law in January 2009.