Hiroshi Motomura, the Susan Westerberg Prager Professor of Law, will be honored by the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild at an awards dinner on June 12.
A core faculty member of UCLA School of Law’s David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Critical Race Studies Program, Motomura is being recognized as an influential teacher and scholar of immigration and citizenship law. He has been active for over two decades in efforts to expand legal services and to foster other rule-of-law initiatives on behalf of immigrants. He is one of the co-founders and current directors of the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network, based in Denver, which secures legal representation in immigration proceedings for indigent immigrants, including many children, and he is the vice chair of the board of directors of the National Immigration Law Center.
Motomura has been part of the litigation teams in several landmark court cases, and his scholarship has directly shaped key immigrants’ rights advocacy initiatives; his analysis of statutory interpretation has been at the core of advocacy strategies and court decisions that have expanded the rights of non-citizens. His work on the role of police discretion in immigration law has played a key role in setting bounds on state and local involvement in immigration enforcement. He was also a part of the team that shaped and persuaded President Obama to adopt the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative in 2012 and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans in 2014. In addition, Motomura has testified before the U.S. Congress and served as a member of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Immigration.
He is the author of several books, including "Immigration Outside the Law" (Oxford University Press, 2014), which won the Association of American Publishers Professional and Scholarly Excellence Award in 2015 as the year’s best book in law and legal studies. His book, "Americans in Waiting: The Lost Story of Immigration and Citizenship in the United States" (Oxford University Press, 2007) also won the award and was chosen by the U.S. Department of State for its suggested reading list for foreign service officers.