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The Prison to Deportation Pipeline: Crimmigration & Black Immigrants

February 17, 2021 (1 min read)

ABA Webinar, Feb. 10, 2021 (90-min. video)

"Immigration enforcement operates absent many of the protections available in the criminal justice system, resulting in heightened detention and surveillance of Black immigrants. Panelists will discuss how the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (“IIRIRA”) of 1996 expanded the crimes for which a noncitizen can be deported, disproportionately impacting detention and deportation of immigrants of African descent. Panelists will describe how immigration enforcement operates in the context of immigration exceptionalism, which has shielded immigration laws and policies from many constitutional norms under the guise of sovereignty and national security. This reality has resulted in inordinate harm and suffering of Black immigrants and asylum-seekers in the United States of America."


  • Rebecca Sharpless, Professor of Law & Immigration Clinic Director, University of Miami
  • Kevin Johnson, Dean and Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law
  • Kayo Beshir, Community Organizer, Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition
  • Houleye Thiam, President, Mauritanian Human Rights Network
  • Moderated by Karla McKanders, Clinical professor of law and the director of the Immigration Practice Clinic at Vanderbilt University