Anti-Carceral Theory and Immigration: A View from Two Law School Clinics

Saint Louis University Law Journal, Vol. 67, No. 3, Teaching Immigration Law (Spring 2023)

Saint Louis U. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2023-11

Wayne State University Law School Research Paper No. 2023-67

15 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2023 Last revised: 26 Jan 2024

See all articles by Sabrina Balgamwalla

Sabrina Balgamwalla

Wayne State University Law School

Lauren Bartlett

Saint Louis University - School of Law

Abstract

This article explores clinical teaching philosophies related to anti-carceral theory and provides examples of how to support student learning in clinics serving immigrant clients. Anti-carceral theory in this context is used to refer to an approach that resists criminalization and incarceration within law, drawing on abolitionism, intersectional and anti-carceral feminism, and decolonization.

The anti-carceral lens provides framing and language to name the dynamics of social exclusion and discrimination inherent in immigration law. It also allows us to unpack immigration regulation as a series of choices made within the larger context of law enforcement and its systems of surveillance, policing, and confinement. This article is meant to encourage clinical faculty to integrate anti-carceral theory into teaching as a means for students to critically explore the law and their roles as advocates.

Keywords: law school clinics, law school teaching, clinical pedagogy, immigration law

Suggested Citation

Balgamwalla, Sabrina and Bartlett, Lauren, Anti-Carceral Theory and Immigration: A View from Two Law School Clinics. Saint Louis University Law Journal, Vol. 67, No. 3, Teaching Immigration Law (Spring 2023), Saint Louis U. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2023-11, Wayne State University Law School Research Paper No. 2023-67, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4599535 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4599535

Sabrina Balgamwalla (Contact Author)

Wayne State University Law School ( email )

Lauren Bartlett

Saint Louis University - School of Law ( email )

100 N. Tucker Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63101
United States

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