Conference on Immigration Law and Institutional Design

Friday, June 15, 2012 - 8:00am - Saturday, June 16, 2012 - 2:00pm

This conference focuses on the institutional design of immigration law: how law and institutions should be designed so as to admit people who are considered desirable from the standpoint of public policy, and to screen out those who are not.

Most traditional immigration law scholarship focuses on who gets to immigrate, and how many people should be allowed into the country. Scholars have also written extensively about the history of immigration law and problems with the enforcement of immigration law. Much less work has focused on how immigration influences domestic institutions and practices and how these in turn influence the patterns of immigration.

This conference brings together a group of scholars who are interested in these new areas of immigration law scholarship. Topics include the role of employers in screening out workers who are unlawfully in the country; the role of the states in enforcing federal law; the interaction between the criminal law and the immigration system; programs for identifying potential migrants who have the most to contribute to the country; and the interaction between immigration and trade policy.

Immigration Law and Institution Design is the 2012 annual joint conference series sponsored by the John M. Olin Program in Law and Economics and the University of Chicago Law Review.  "Immigration Law and Institutional Design" is organized by Eric A. Posner, University of Chicago, Adam Cox, New York University, and Richard A. Epstein, New York University, Hoover Institution, University of Chicago.

This conference is sponsored by the Institute for Law and Economics and the University of Chicago Law Review. It is open to the public and attendance is free. Please contact Marjorie Holme ( for more details.

Participants include:
Kerry Abrams, University of Virginia Law School
What Makes the Family Special?

Anu Bradford, University of Chicago Law School
Dividing the Migration Surplus

Eleanor Brown, George Washington University Law School
The Blacks Who "Got Their 40 Acres": A Theory of West Indian Migrant Asset Acquisition

Adam Cox, New York University School of Law, and Tom Miles, University of Chicago Law School
Integrating Immigration and the Criminal Element

Alina Das, New York University School of Law
Immigration Detention: Information Gaps and Institutional Barriers to Reform

Ingrid Eagly, UCLA School of Law
Criminal Process and the Construction of Criminal Aliens

John Eastman, Chapman University School of Law
From Plyler to Arizona: Have the Courts Forgotten about Corfield v. Coryell?

Richard Epstein, New York University School of Law, Hoover Institution, University of Chicago Law School
Free Trade versus Free Immigration: A Comparative Analysis

Stephen Lee, University of California, Irvine School of Law
Screening for Solidarity

Hiroshi Motomura, UCLA School of Law
Designing Temporary Worker Programs

Eric Posner, University of Chicago Law School
The Institutional Structure of Immigration Law

Peter Schuck, Yale Law School
Immigrant Criminals in Overcrowded Prisons: Rethinking an Anachronistic Policy

Alan Sykes, Stanford Law School
International Cooperation in Migration: Theory and Practice

Immigration program.pdf

Eric Posner
Richard A. Epstein