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LSTD512 - Immigration Law

Course Details

Course Code: LSTD512 Course ID: 4284 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This graduate course focuses on the procedural and substantive law surrounding immigration. Emphasis is given to legal changes enacted in the field since September 11, 2001, as well as current events. It provides students with the background, processes, and tools necessary for a working knowledge of immigration issues. Important topics such as immigrant status, citizenship, refugees, and asylum seekers will be explored. Students will analyze immigration law and policy.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
04/27/20 - 10/02/20 10/05/20 - 11/29/20 Fall 2020 Session B 8 Week session
07/27/20 - 01/01/21 01/04/21 - 02/28/21 Winter 2021 Session B 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After completing this course the student will be able to:

  • Describe the history and development of immigration law and policy
  • Explain and discuss the sources of immigration law and identify the various agencies assigned to immigration policy, procedures, and enforcement
  • Compare and identify immigrant and nonimmigrant visas, adjustment of status, and citizenship procedures
  • Analyze the intricacies of admission and removal procedures under the Immigration and Nationality Act
  • Understand, identify, and distinguish between various forms of relief from removal to include asylum and cancellation of removal
  • Evaluate other methods of removal used by government agencies
  • Explain citizenship and denaturalization requirements and procedures
  • Analyze asylum and refugee law
  • Apply immigration law and procedures within various vignettes presented
  • Evaluate current immigration issues in the news or proposed legislation in light of existing law and policy
  • Prepare a formal case brief on a selected immigration case
  • Plan and develop an extensive research paper covering an aspect of immigration law and policy of interest

1. Assignments & Forum Participation: There will be assignments and forums during the course. They are selected to provide the student with hands-on experience in applying the law and theories being discussed. You can find specific guidance in the assignment and forum section.

Questions and topics posed in the Forums are designed to promote thought and insight. Students must provide a critical review of the questions, topics and issues posed and substantively reply to the contributions of at least three peers. Individual postings should include a full discussion of the content of the question posed and explain how it relates to the concepts in the weekly text readings and other resources. The postings should be analytic in nature and include comparisons/contrasts, and examples that can bolster your point. The Forum is for your benefit and it is important to respond to the discussion topic and to engage others in a running dialogue.

Your initial post should be made by Thursday each week. You should then respond to 3 or more posts. Note that at least one response to your classmates must be made before Sunday. If you make all of your responsive posts on Sunday, you will not earn full points for timeliness.

This can be accomplished by

· Validating with additional evidence from the literature.

· Posing a thoughtful question with commentary which generates further discussion.

· Providing an alternative point-of-view, with evidence and examples.

· Offering additional insight into how the concept might be understood, with evidence provided with real world examples.

You should be active in the classroom throughout the week and actively engaged in the back-and-forth discussion between your colleagues and the professor.

The forum grading rubric can be found in gradebook by clicking on the forum entry.

2. Exams: The final exam will be taken open book. The exam will be posted in the electronic classroom under "Tests and Quizzes.” These examinations will cover selected sections of the lessons and assigned readings. They may consist of True/False, multiple choice, fill in the blank, and essays.

NameGrade %
Forum Introduction 1.00 %
Intro 1.00 %
Forum Discussions 28.00 %
Week 1 4.67 %
Week 2 4.67 %
Week 3 4.67 %
Week 5 4.67 %
Week 6 4.67 %
Week 7 4.67 %
Research Paper Proposal 1.00 %
Research Paper Proposal 1.00 %
Substantive Paper 20.00 %
Week 4: Substantive Paper 20.00 %
Research Paper 25.00 %
Research Paper 25.00 %
Final 25.00 %
Final Exam1 25.00 %

Required Readings: Course resources and case law may also be required reading and found in the “Lessons” tab for each week’s assigned reading.


The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation (Columbia Law Review Ass'n et. al. eds., 20th ed. 2015).

Immigration Law Handbook (LexisNexis 2016).

Web Sites:

In addition to the required course texts, the following public domain web sites are useful.

Please abide by the University’s academic honesty policy when using Internet sources as well. Note web site addresses are subject to change.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services (USCIS)

9th Circuit Immigration Outline

Board of Immigration Appeals Precedent Decisions

Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) (go to LAWS tab and then look to the left to find the INA)

US Department of State (“DOS”) travel site

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.