Clinical Professor of Law, Vanderbilt University
Karla McKanders is an expert in immigration and refugee law. Her recent scholarship addresses gender and the law, civil and human rights, approaches to legislative and regulatory reforms of the U.S. immigration system and the international system for processing refugees. Professor McKanders directs the Immigration Clinic and teaches Refugee and Immigration Law. Her work has taken her throughout the U.S. and abroad teaching and researching the efficacy of legal institutions charged with processing migrants and refugees. In 2011, she received a Fulbright grant to lecture in Morocco at the University of Mohamad V. She continues to collaborate with faculty, lawyers and nonprofit organizations in the Middle East and North Africa addressing disparities in access to justice faced by immigrant and refugee populations. During the 2016–2017 academic year, she was a Visiting Associate Professor of Law at Howard University School of Law where she directed the Civil Rights Clinic.
I sat in a small room in Tijuana, Mexico with a 13-year-old indigenous Mayan Guatemalan girl. She left Guatemala after a cartel murdered her friend and threatened to rape her. Her mother wanted her to live and believed...