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Withholding Protection

  • Columbia Law School, Jerome Greene Hall 546 (map)

In June 2018, President Trump wrote a pair of tweets en route to his golf course, calling for "no judges; no court cases" at our border and swift deportation of immigrants, essentially without due process. While immigrant advocates were quick to explain the myriad constitutional problems with this proposal, elements of Trump's dream are already a reality.

Professor Lindsay M. Harris, Assistant Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law, will discuss how a single Customs and Border Protection officer can short-circuit the checks and balances prescribed by U.S. and international law to protect refugees from being returned to harm, and cast a long shadow over a future, meritorious asylum claim. She will examine the disastrous interplay between two "speed deportation" processes - expedited removal and reinstatement of removal - insufficient safeguards that leave refugee screening at our borders in the shadows, and the absence of judicial review. Professor Harris will also explore, as an immediate first step to implement the humanitarian protections enshrined in law, the merits and risks of using readily available technology - more specifically, the use of Body Worn Cameras by Customs and Border Protection officers conducting screenings of potential refugees at the border.