About Daniel Kanstroom
Daniel Kanstroom is Professor of Law, Thomas F. Carney Distinguished Scholar, Director of the International Human Rights Program, and an Associate Director of the Boston College Center for Human Rights and International Justice. He teaches Immigration and Refugee Law, International Human Rights Law, Constitutional Law, Administrative Law, and the International Human Rights Semester in Practice. Professor Kanstroom was the founder of the Boston College Immigration and Asylum clinic in which students represent indigent noncitizens and asylum-seekers. Together with his students, he has won many high-profile immigration and asylum cases and has provided counsel for hundreds of clients over more than a decade. He and his students have also written amicus briefs for the U.S. Supreme Court, organized innumerable public presentations in schools, churches, community centers, courts and prisons, and have advised many community groups. He was a co-founder of the Immigration Spring Break Trips, where students work on immigration law cases during their Spring Break. Professor Kanstroom’s newest initiative, the Post-Deportation Human Rights Project, seeks to conceptualize and develop a new field of law while representing US deportees abroad and undertaking empirical study of the effects of deportation on families and communities.
Professor Kanstroom has published widely in the fields of U.S. immigration law, criminal law, and European citizenship and asylum law. His most recent books are: Aftermath: Deportation Law and the New American Diaspora, (Oxford University Press 2012); and Deportation Nation: Outsiders in American History (Harvard University Press 2007). He is also a co-editor of: The New Deportations Delirium (editor, with M. Brinton Lykes); Constructing “Illegality”: Immigrant Experiences, Critiques, and Resistance, (editor, with Cecilia Menjívar) (Cambridge University Press 2013).
His articles and short pieces have appeared in such venues as the Harvard Law Review, Yale Journal of International Law, UCLA Law Review, NYU Journal of International Law and Politics, Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, The New York Times, Journal of Social History, and the French Gazette du Palais. Professor Kanstroom has served on the American Bar Association's Immigration Commission and the Advisory Board of the PAIR Project. He was rapporteur for the American Branch of the Refugee Law Section of the International Law Association. He has been a visiting Professor at the University of Paris, the University of Boulogne sur Mer, Northeastern School of Law, American University, King’s College, London, and Vermont Law School.
- Fall 2016: Immigration Law
- Spring 2017: Constitutional Law II, Human Rights Interdisciplinary Seminar
Director of Human Rights Program, Professor of Law & Thomas F. Carney Distinguished Scholar
Boston College Law School
885 Centre Street
Newton, MA 02459
The New Deportations Delirium (Editor) (2015)
Since 1996, when the deportation laws were hardened, millions of migrants to the U.S., including many long-term legal permanent residents with “green cards,” have experienced summary arrest, incarceration without bail, transfer to remote detention facilities, ...
Constructing Illegality in America: Immigrant Experiences, Critiques, and Resistance (2013)
The topic of 'illegal' immigration has been a major aspect of public discourse in the United States and many other immigrant-receiving countries. From the beginning of its modern invocation in the early twentieth century, the ...
Aftermath: Deportation Law and the New American Diaspora (2012)
Since the passage of harsh new deportation laws in 1996, the United States has deported millions of noncitizens--many undocumented, but many others long-term legal residents with U.S. families--back to their countries of origin. The early ...
Smart(er) Enforcement: Rethinking Removal Journal of Law & Politics (2015)
Substantial interior immigration enforcement will undoubtedly continue in the United States, whether or not the legislative and executive branches can craft a legalization program. Though some enforcement is undoubtedly necessary, the system’s continuity will also ...
Predicting the Complex Future of Retroactivity in Massachusetts: Commonwealth v. Sylvain Boston Bar Journal (2014)
From the introduction: In Commonwealth v. Sylvain,466 Mass. 422 (2013), the SJC held that the requirements placed on criminal defense lawyers to properly advise defendants about certain immigration consequences enunciated in Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 ...
Padilla v. Kentucky and the Evolving Right to Deportation Counsel: Watershed or Work-in-Progress? New England Law Review (2011)
Though widely heralded by immigration and human rights lawyers as a “landmark,” possible “watershed,” and even “Gideon decision” for immigrants, Padilla v. Kentucky is perhaps better understood as a Rorschach test, than as a clear ...
The Right to Deportation Counsel in Padilla v. Kentucky: The Challenging Construction of the Fifth-and-a-Half Amendment UCLA Law Review (2011)
The U.S. Supreme Court’s pathbreaking decision in Padilla v. Kentucky seems reasonably simple and exact: Sixth Amendment norms were applied to noncitizen Jose Padilla’s claim that his criminal defense counsel was ineffective due to allegedly ...
"Passed Beyond Our Aid:" U.S. Deportation, Integrity, and the Rule of Law Fletcher Forum of World Affairs (2011)
The United States is still in the midst of a massive deportation experiment that is exceptionally sweeping and harsh by virtually any historical or comparative measure. In the last twenty-five years, the number of non-citizen ...
Introduction: Law, Torture, and the “Task of the Good Lawyer” – Mukasey Agonistes Boston College International and Comparative Law Review (2009)
Following September 11, 2001, there was a challenge to the role of law as a regulator of military action and executive power. Government lawyers produced legal interpretations designed to authorize, legitimize, and facilitate interrogation tactics ...
On “Waterboarding”: Legal Interpretation and the Continuing Struggle for Human Rights Boston College International and Comparative Law Review (2009)
While some aspects of the “waterboarding” debate are largely political, the practice also implicates deeply normative underpinnings of human rights and law. Attorney General Michael Mukasey has steadfastly declined to declare waterboarding illegal or to ...
Sharpening the Cutting Edge of International Human Rights Law: Unresolved Issues of War Crimes Tribunals Boston College International and Comparative Law Review (2007)
International criminal tribunals have emerged as the most tangible and well-known mechanism for seeking justice in the wake of atrocious human rights violations. As the enterprise has developed, the need to ask fundamental questions is ...
The Better Part of Valor: The REAL ID Act, Discretion, and the “Rule” of Immigration Law New York Law School Law Review (2007)
This article considers the problems raised by a federal law--the “REAL ID Act”--that seeks to preclude judicial review of discretionary immigration law decisions. Discretion, the flexible shock absorber of the administrative state, must be respected ...
Legal Lines in Shifting Sand: Immigration Law and Human Rights in the Wake of September 11th Boston College Third World Law Journal (2005)
In March of 2004, a group of legal scholars gathered at Boston College Law School to examine the doctrinal implications of the events of September 11, 2001. They reconsidered the lines drawn between citizens and ...
Criminalizing the Undocumented: Ironic Boundaries of the Post-September 11th ‘Pale of Law.’ North Carolina Journal of International Law and Commercial Regulation (2004)
The general hypothesis put forth in this Article is that well-accepted historical matrices are increasingly inadequate to address the complex issues raised by various U.S. government practices in the so-called “war on terrorism.” The Article ...