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National Debate Draws In Immigration Law Expert Hlass

June 20, 2018

Laila Hlass

It’s been a busy summer for Tulane Law Professor Laila Hlass as the nation debates changes in immigration policy.

A nationally-recognized legal expert, her knowledge on immigration law has propelled her to become a respected source on the Trump administration’s push to stop the flow of immigrants across America’s borders.

 Most recently, the separation of families at the border and the controversial housing of children in detention centers has brought local media to Tulane Law School seeking interviews.

Hlass has appeared on WWL-TV on the policy, as well as explaining how citizenship works; she also appeared on WDSU-TV and Fox 8 and been quoted The Times-Picayune/NOLA.com.

 She was a guest contributor to the Crimmigration blog this month, describing how aggressive immigration enforcement and over-policing of immigrant youth of color force immigrant children out of schools and into the deportation process. This post builds on her recently published law review article, The School to Deportation Pipeline.

Additionally, she co-authored a report with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center  on how young immigrants are often labeled gang members based on questionable evidence.

 “This summer, the Trump administration rolled out new policies and agency decisions putting children, asylum-seekers, and survivors of domestic and gang violence in harm’s way," Hlass said. "There is a great deal of misinformation about what exactly our laws say and as practitioners it’s important to explain how these government actions undermine existing humanitarian immigration laws."

 Hlass, who is Director of Experiential Learning, joined the law school in 2017 and is an experienced clinical professor whose teaching and scholarship focus on law, policy and practices that affect access to justice within the immigration system. Previously, she taught at Boston University School of Law as a clinical associate professor, at Georgetown University Law Center as a clinical teaching fellow and at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law as a staff attorney and Equal Justice Works fellow in the Immigration Clinic. While at Loyola, she also directed the Office of Law Skills and Experiential Learning on an interim basis.



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