Race Matters

Immigration Law and Policy Scholarship, Law in the Ivory Tower, and the Legal Indifference of the Race Critique

This essay builds on comments made at the Immigration Law Teachers Workshop at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law in May 1998. Thanks to Michael Scaperlanda and Patty Blum for their leadership in organizing the workshop and allowing me to participate. Although I previously had shared the ideas generally expressed here with several people, this essay began in earnest as introductory remarks to the panel entitled \"Different Perspectives on Immigration Law and Policy\" at the workshop. I am indebted to the panelists, Gil Gott, George A. Martínez, and John A. Scanlan, for preparing papers that stimulated my thinking. Some of the ideas expressed here were also developed for the Section on Immigration Law program \"Perspectives on Citizenship\" at the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) 1999 annual meeting. Thanks to my co-panelists, Neil Gotanda, Susan Forbes Martin, Dorothy Roberts, Peter Schuck, Anna Williams Shavers, and Peter Spiro, for making presentations that challenged my analysis. Some of the ideas articulated here were also presented at the American Society of International Law 1999 annual meeting, where my co-panelists (Gil Gott, Susan Akram, and Leti Volpp) and the audience, especially Peter Spiro, offered helpful feedback. Thanks to Berta Hernandez and Gil Gott for arranging this platform. This paper benefited from comments of the Asian Pacific American Critical Race Theory reading group at UC Davis. Thanks to Kent Ono for inviting me to pre-sent this paper and to Angie Chabram-Dernersesian, Bill Ong Hing, Wendy Ho, Beatriz Pesquera, and Karen Shimikawa for their thoughtful comments. The presentations at the AALS 2000 annual meeting of Linda Bosniak, Lolita Buckner Innis, George A. Martínez, Natsu Taylor Saito, and John A. Scanlan on the joint program of the Minority Groups and Immigration Law Sections on Race and Immigration Law also informed my analysis. I appreciate the thoughtful comments of Cecelia Espenoza, Bill Ong Hing, George A. Martínez, Michael A. Olivas, Victor C. Romero, Michael Scaperlanda, Leti Volpp, Gil Gott, Peter Margulies, Anupam Chander, and Joel C. Dobris on a draft of this article, as well as the fi-nancial and other support of Dean Rex R. Perschbacher. Finally, thanks to Joan Fitzpatrick, Bill Ong Hing, George A. Martínez, Michael A. Olivas, and John A. Scanlan for engaging the ideas in my article in this special issue.* Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Law, University of California, Davis School of Law. A.B., University of California at Berkeley; J.D., Harvard University.The author borrows the introductory phrase in the title from CORNEL WEST, RACE MATTERS (1993).

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