Silence and the Second Wall

39 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2019 Last revised: 17 Aug 2019

See all articles by Ming Hsu Chen

Ming Hsu Chen

UC Law, San Francisco

Zachary New

Joseph Law Firm

Date Written: February 25, 2019


The Trump administration has made its clarion call “build the wall.” From the start of the presidential campaign to the government shutdown to the declaration of a national emergency, he has made the wall the centerpiece of his immigration enforcement strategy. While the public attention has been riveted on these dramatic episodes at the southern border of the U.S., many more subtle challenges to legal migration have been introduced and implemented. Collectively, these constitute a second wall – one that is invisible to all but the few who have noticed it. This essay explores the distinctive challenges being posed to legal migration and the complexity of countering them through traditional means of resistance. Part I provides background on legal migration and the immmigration bureaucracy. Part II explains the nature of the second wall policies. Part III turns to the nascent resistance efforts. The essay concludes with suggestions on how to restore the federal government’s mission of serving immigrants and proposes strategies for scaling the second wall.

Keywords: Immigration, immigration law, sanctuary, social movements

Suggested Citation

Chen, Ming Hsu and New, Zachary, Silence and the Second Wall (February 25, 2019). Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal, Vol. 27, 2019, U of Colorado Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 19-4, Available at SSRN:

Ming Hsu Chen (Contact Author)

UC Law, San Francisco ( email )

200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

Zachary New

Joseph Law Firm ( email )

12203 E. Second Ave.
Aurora, CO 80011
United States

HOME PAGE: http://

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics