Areas of Research Needed
Created April 2020
Academia (Graduate Level)
Academia (Undergraduate Level)
We would love to have research done by undergraduates and recommend looking at the research ideas listed under the other categories here and scaling it down to fit your project and timeline.
Legal Fellow Partnership Opportunities
United Stateless welcomes ideas from law students and recent law school graduates to work on statelessness at a host organization with USL as a partnering organization. (At this time, USL does not have the capacity to host a fellow directly within USL.)
We envision, as an example, partnering with a fellow who could be embedded in an immigration legal service provider who does detention visits and/or works directly with vulnerable immigrants. Such fellow would be the resident expert on statelessness and incorporate best practices with regards to statelessness into the host organization’s legal services, training, and advocacy programs; help identify and develop cases ripe for strategic litigation to advance stateless rights; and conduct legal research on relevant stateless/citizenship topics to support advocacy. United Stateless would be a partner organization to refer cases, provide guidance and training, and ensure that such work is guided by those impacted by statelessness directly.
The following topics could be researched and pursued in the following contexts: law schools, immigration clinics, law firms, law professors, legal journal article topics
Barriers to rights, citizenship: What are certain litigation practices preventing people from getting on a pathway to citizenship? Are there certain litigation practices that have proved more successful?
Review of local (state, city/municipal/county) laws to identify changes that would allow stateless in the US to access basic rights, without need for federal/congressional action or law reform.
Asylum rejections: How many asylum seekers are denied asylum, in spite of raising claims that include discriminatory denial of access to citizenship by country of origin, denaturalization, etc.? How many stateless apply for asylum but do not get refugee status? How many cases have been litigated in US courts for asylum seekers who are stateless, and win refugee status? (i.e., Haile v. Holder, Stserba v. Holder, Jourbina v. Holder)
Naturalization rejections: How many immigrants, how many refugees who apply for citizenship are rejected due to crimes of moral turpitude, fraud, or other factors? Of those groups, how many are stateless, with no country to be deported to? (i.e., Rohingya, Hmong, Bhutanese, Palestinian)
Denaturalizations: How many citizens have been denaturalized and rendered stateless by the US/in the US? Of cases litigated in court, has statelessness been raised as a mitigating factor against denaturalization?
Detention: How many stateless people are currently in immigration detention in the US? What is the average time stateless persons are detained? How often are stateless persons in the US detained over course of their lifetime? How much does it cost to detain stateless people in the US, in the past, current, future? How many stateless people are able to obtain legal counsel from detention and how many assert issues of statelessness in their claim for relief?
Strategic litigation: targeting cases for strategic litigation that would have positive impact for the stateless. i.e. raising statelessness as a defense in denaturalization case; litigating the bar on entry without inspection to adjustment of status in the US (maybe focusing on a client who is stateless and married to an American citizen); litigating ICE supervision requirements/enforcement for stateless who cannot be deported; litigating US citizenship laws for those born overseas in a case where applicant has no other nationality claims.
Review of national laws, regulations, and agency practices/guidance as it relates to and impacts stateless people. Identify gaps/problems that can be resolved through law reform. Not just immigration laws, but requirements to access other federal benefits and rights at the federal / national level.