AUWCL Hosts Rapid Response Teach-In on Immigration Ban Executive Order

AUWCL faculty discuss immigration
AUWCL faculty discuss the implications of President Trump's executive order on immigration.

On Jan. 30, nine American University Washington College of Law faculty members participated in a live “teach-in” event at the law school to discuss the recent immigration executive orders signed by President Trump, and their immediate and future impact. The faculty members – experts in constitutional, immigration, administrative, international law, and more – updated the community on what took place with the immigration/travel ban over the weekend and the constitutionality of the orders.

The teach-in, attended by more than 200 community members and watched by 400 more online, was organized in less than 24 hours. “We are a law school that believes in the rule of law,” said Assistant Dean Amy Tenney when opening in the event. “We are also a law school of immigrants, including our dean, our vice dean, and our dean emeritus.”

The faculty panelists were Professors Amanda Frost, Anita Sinha, William Yeomans, Ira Robbins, Andrew Popper, Sunita Patel, Robert Goldman, and Mark Niles. Dean Tenney served as the moderator. They addressed everything from the execution of the executive order, to the resulting lack of access to attorneys for those being held at airports, to the new pressures being put on cities that have declared themselves sanctuary cities.

“Part of the order states that they will take away resources from cities that are sanctuary cities,” said Professor Sunita Patel who teaches in the Civil Advocacy Clinic. “We will see cities resist or not based on what kinds of federal funds end up being threatened.”

The faculty stressed that students have options to have their voices, and legal work, contribute at this time. “The events from this weekend and all of these changes have invigorated protests and these actions set the stage for legal actions,” Patel said. “This is the moment to think about how to get involved. The legal and non-legal works supports each other. You are in law school at an important moment, so think about how you will use your skills both now and after graduation.”

Watch the full video of the panel.