CWSL - Legal Scholarship

CWSL Law Review & International Law Journal

Border Myths Symposium

What is the Border Myths Symposium?

This spring the California Western School of Law’s Law Review and International Law Journal are hosting a joint Symposium on Border Myths: Exploring the Myths and Realities of U.S. Immigration Policies:

When it comes to immigration policies at the United States borders, many myths permeate the national discourse: myths about who is coming to the United States and how they cross; what makes migration legal or illegal; the impact of migrants on the United States and the communities they join; the rights and responsibilities of migrants and the states receiving them; and the legal responsibilities of the United States to migrants and the larger international community.

The symposium will identify the myths, critically look at the historical context and long-term effects, and propose novel approaches to understanding and addressing these issues at the federal, state, and local levels.

The Symposium will give the authors the opportunity to discuss their research and give the attendees the opportunity to join the discussion and earn MCLE credit.

Symposium Details

When: Saturday, March 9, 2019, 9am-4pm

Where: California Western School of Law - 350 Cedar Street, San Diego, CA 92101

Online Registration Cost:

  • Attorney Attendee + CLE (4.5 hours) + lunch $85

  • Attendee (no CLE) + lunch $15

  • Current CWSL Student/Faculty $0

Symposium Schedule: (tentative - more details to come)

  • 8:30am Registration

  • 9:00am Conference Welcome

  • 9:10am Keynote Address

  • 9:30am Panel #1

  • 11:00am Break

  • 11:15am Panel #2

  • 12:45pm Catered Lunch

  • 2:00pm Panel #3

  • 3:45pm Closing Remarks

  • 4:00pm Reception

The Symposium Committee is seeking Symposium Sponsors. Click the link below for more information.

Border Myths Symposium Speakers:


Keynote Address by Bardis Vakili

Bardis Vakili is a Senior Staff Attorney at ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties.


Professor Jamie R. Abrams

Professor and Associate Dean for Intellectual Life at University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law

Forthcoming article: The Myth of Enforcing Border Security Versus the Reality of Enforcing Dominant Masculinities


Professor Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera

Associate Professor at Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University

Forthcoming article: The Myths of Central American Undocumented Immigration and MS-13 in the United States


Jesse Imbriano

Legal Director at Casa Cornelia Law Center

Forthcoming article: From Humanitarian Crisis to Marauding Hordes: A Manufactured Outcome

Headshot Amb Marcela Celorio.JPG

Ambassador Marcela Celorio Mancera

Ambassador of Mexico

Forthcoming article: The CaliBaja Border, the Gateway to a Cross-Border Reality


Professor Reginald Oh

Professor at Cleveland Marshall College of Law

Forthcoming article: Immigrants, Dehumanization and Equal Protection


Honorable Mimi Tsankov

In Her Capacity as Grievance Chair of the National Association of Immigration Judges

Forthcoming article: An Immigration Court System Compromised


Sohail Wahedi

Ph.D Candidate at Erasmus School of Law

Forthcoming article: Muslims and the Myths in the Immigration Policies of the United States

Head Shot-Carlo E. Zayas Morales.JPG

Professor Carlo E. Zayas Morales

Adjunct Professor at Law School of the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico

Forthcoming article: Deconstructing the Myth of the Illegitimacy of the Plenary Powers Doctrine: Employing a New Originalism Approach to Understand the Federal Government’s Constitutional Immigration Power


Professor Lydia Zepeda

Professor Emeritus at University of Wisconsin-Madison

Forthcoming article: The Costs of U.S. Immigration Policies


Lilia Velasquez

Immigration Attorney and Adjunct CWSL Professor

Participating California Western School of Law Faculty

Vice Dean Donald J. Smythe

Vice Dean Donald J. Smythe

Professor William J. Aceves

Professor William J. Aceves

Professor James M. Cooper

Professor James M. Cooper

Professor Pooja R. Dadhania

Professor Pooja R. Dadhania

The following authors are also contributing to Border Myths Symposium issues of Law Review and International Law Journal:

Timothy M. Belsan and Aaron R. Petty, Attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice

Forthcoming article: Revocation of Citizenship: Myths and Misunderstandings

Cindy Woods, Staff Attorney, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Dilley Pro Bono Project

Forthcoming article: Border Myths: How U.S. Immigration Officials Are Controlling the Border Narrative Through Abuse of Power