Raquel Aldana

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Aldana’s scholarship has focused on transitional justice, criminal justice reforms, and sustainable development in Latin America, as well as immigrant rights in the United States. She has taught immigration law, asylum law, international human rights, lawyering for immigrants, “crimmigration,” criminal law and procedure, international labor law, Latin American comparative law, international public law, international human rights, statutes and regulations, and the Central American migration corridor. Her most recent publications include a chapter in a forthcoming Springer book titled A Long Term Vision on Faculty Diversity at UC Davis in UPROOTING BIAS IN THE ACADEMY and a law review article titled A Look Back at the Warren Court’s Due Process Revolution through the Lens of Immigrants as part of the 2019 University of the Pacific Law Review Symposium Volume on the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Warren Court. Her most recent books include a co-edited volume titled From Extraction to Emancipation: Development Reimagined, published by Carolina Academic Press and the American Bar Association. Aldana also finished the second edition of Understanding Immigration Law with Dean Kevin Johnson and Professors Bill Ong Hing, Enid Trucio-Haynes and Leticia Saucedo.

Aldana is a graduate of Arizona State University (earning a bachelor’s degree in English and another in Spanish) and Harvard Law School. She was a professor at the William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, before joining the McGeorge School of Law faculty in 2009. From 2017-200, she served as the inaugural Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Diversity at UC Davis. She is currently the Chair of the Latin America & Caribbean Council of the ABA ROLI.


Understanding Immigration Law (Lexis-Nexis 2020) (3rd Ed.) (with Kevin Johnson, Bill Ong Hing, Enid Trucio-Haynes and Leticia Saucedo).

From Extraction to Emancipation, Development Reimagined (edited collection, with Steve Bender) (American Bar Association and Carolina Academic Press 2018).

Global Issues in Immigration Law (West Academic Publishing 2013) (with Beth Lyon, Won Kidane, and Karla McKanders).

Everyday Law for Latinos (Paradigm Publisher 2008) (with Steve Bender and Gilbert Carrasco).

Chapters in Books:

The Challenges and Potential of an International Human Rights Regime to Manage Migration in Compassionate Migration & Regional Policy in the Americas (William Arrocha et al., eds. Palgrave Macmillan) (forthcoming).

Local Immigration Regulations after 9/11 in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in Contemporary Politics, Law, and Social Movements (Oxford University Press 2015).

Immigration Federalism and Rights in Immigration Regulation in Federal States:  Challenges and Responses in Comparative Perspectives (edited collection of essays) (Sasha Baglay and Delphine Nackache, eds.) (Springer 2013).

The International Rights of Migrants in Handbook on Human Rights (Thomas Cushman, ed.) (Routledge Books 2011).

Making Civil Liberties Matter in Local Immigration Enforcement (The Police Foundation 2009).

Of Katz and “Aliens”: Privacy Expectations and the Immigration Raids, 41 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1081 (2008), reprinted in AILA’s Guide to Worksite Enforcement & Corporate Compliance (Josie Gonzalez, et al. eds.) (2008).


Border Solutions from the Inside. Forthcoming April 2021, University of Miami Race & Social Justice Law Review., UC Davis Legal Studies Research Paper Forthcoming

A Look Back at the Warren Court’s Due Process Revolution through the Lens of Immigrants, 51 U. OF THE PACIF. L. REV. 633 (2020) (with Thomas O’Donnell).

A Comparative Reflection on Refugees and National Security: What We Should Learn from Europe about Responding to Homegrown Terrorism, 37 Immi. & Nationality L. Rev. 651 (2016).

Congressional Dysfunction and Executive Lawmaking During the Obama Administration, 91 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 3 (2016)

Raising the Bar: Law Schools and Legal Institutions Leading to Educate Undocumented Law Students (with Beth Lyon and Karla McKanders) 44 Ariz. St. L. J. 5 (2012).

Silent Victims No More?:  Moral Indignation and the Potential for Latino Political Mobilization in Defense of Immigrants, 45 Hous. L. Rev. 73 (2008).

Of Katz and “Aliens”: Privacy Expectations and the Immigration Raids, 41 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1081 (2008).

The Subordination and Anti-Subordination Story of the U.S. Immigrant Experience in the 21st  Century, 7  Nev. L. J. 713 (2007) (Lat Crit Symposium Cluster Introduction).

On Rights, Federal Citizenship, and the “Alien”, 46 Washburn L. Rev. 101 (2007).

Aliens in our Midst Post-911:  Legislating Outsiderness Within the Borders (With Sylvia Lazos) (Book Review), 38 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1683 (2005).

The September 11 Immigration Detentions and Unconstitutional Executive Legislation, 29 SIU L. J. 5 (2004).

Other Publications:

Connecting Past and Present: Central America’s Forced Migration as an Unfinished Project of Building Just Nations Post-Colonization, Post-Conflict (with Mario Mancilla and Luis Mogollon, Border Humanitarian Health Initiative (2020).

Stakeholder Perspectives Report: November 09, 2018 Focus Group Findings on Migrant Legal-Mental Health Intersectionality  (with Patrick Marius Koga) (2019).

Investing in Rising Scholars and Serving the State of California, HSI Taskforce Report (Co-Chair).

Op-Ed, Debunking Three Myths Behind “Chain Migration” and “Low-Skilled” Immigration, Jan. 2018.

Travel Ban 3.0: Legalese Cannot Mask a Harsh and Misguided Policy, Sept. 2017.