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Anna On Ya Law

Herbert Kurz Chair of Constitutional Rights and Associate Professor of Political Science, CUNY Brooklyn College

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About Anna

Law specializes in public law (including U.S. constitutional law, federal courts, legal institutions such as the American jury system) and U.S. immigration policy history. two notable projects include an exploration of immigration federalism and slavery, and gender-based asylum cases.

No Jargon Podcast

In the News

Anna On Ya Law quoted , "12 Questions That Would Actually Tell Us Something About Ketanji Brown Jackson" Politico Magazine, March 22, 2022.
Anna On Ya Law quoted , "13 Legal Experts on How Breyer’s Replacement Will Change the Court" Politico, January 27, 2022.
"The Myth of ‘Open Borders’," Anna On Ya Law, Perspective, The Washington Post, September 21, 2021.
Anna On Ya Law's research on family separation discussed by Joe Mauceri, "Fight to Free Pizza Deliveryman Arrested by ICE Continues," PIX11, June 19, 2018.
Interview on Diversity Visa Lottery Program Anna On Ya Law, National Public Radio, January 15, 2018.
Anna On Ya Law quoted by Miriam Valverde, "Is the Diversity Visa Program a Tool for Terrorists?" PolitiFact, November 2, 2017.
Anna On Ya Law quoted by Molly Olmstead, "President Trump Attacks “Diversity” Visa Program that was Actually Created to Benefit the Irish" Slate, November 1, 2017.
Anna On Ya Law quoted , "Trump Demands End to Visa Lottery after Attack" Financial times, November 1, 2017.
Anna On Ya Law quoted by Priscilla Alvarez, "The Diversity Visa Program was Created to Help Irish Immigrants" The Atlantic, November 1, 2017.
Anna On Ya Law quoted by Adolfo Flores, "Killing the Diversity Visa Program would Hurt Primarily Africans and Asians" BuzzFeed News, November 1, 2017.
"The Irish Roots of the Diversity Visa Lottery," Anna On Ya Law, Politico Magazine, November 1, 2017.
Anna On Ya Law quoted , "Diversity Green Card Lottery: Golden Ticket for Huddled Masses" BBC, November 1, 2017.
Anna On Ya Law quoted by Jen Kirby, "Trump Blasts “Diversity Visa Lottery Program” after NYC Terror Attack" Vox, November 1, 2017.
"Can Trump Pardon Himself and His Children?," Anna On Ya Law, Bill Moyers, September 12, 2017.
"This is How Trump’s Deportations Differ from Obama’s," Anna On Ya Law, The Washington Post, May 3, 2017.
Anna On Ya Law quoted by Michael E. Miller, "‘Straight Up Pork Barrel Politics’: How the Green Card Lottery was Invented to Help the Irish" The Washington Post, May 2, 2017.
Peter M. Shane quoted on the Constitution by Gail Ablow, "Separation of Powers, Explained" Bill Moyers, February 10, 2017.
"Want to Challenge Trump on Immigration? Try a Strategy from the Antebellum South," Anna On Ya Law, The Conversation, January 5, 2017.
Guest to discuss deportation under Trump on CUNY TV, Anna On Ya Law, November 30, 2016.
Anna On Ya Law quoted on deporting people who are undocumented by Keegan Hamilton, "Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop" Vice, November 14, 2016.
"Cooler Heads," Anna On Ya Law, Miller Center, Spring 2016.
"The Crucial Question Reagan and LBJ Got Right - and Trump Gets Wrong," Anna On Ya Law, Talking Points Memo, October 5, 2015.
"Lies, Damned Lies, and Obama’s Deportation Statistics," Anna On Ya Law, The Washington Post, April 21, 2014.
Anna On Ya Law quoted on immigration reform by Taimur Khan, "Obama Tries to Reform U.S. Immigration" The National, January 30, 2013.
Anna On Ya Law quoted on enforcing immigration laws by Charisma Miller, "Immigration Reform Sparks Brooklyn Reaction" Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 30, 2013.
Anna On Ya Law quoted on immigration law enforcement by María Inés Zamudio, "The Allure of Secure" Chicago Reporter, November 1, 2011.
Anna On Ya Law quoted on vulnerability of immigrants by María Inés Zamudio, "Broken Promises" Chicago Reporter, November 1, 2011.
Anna On Ya Law quoted on deportation, "'Drop and Leave?' Not So Fast." NBC News, August 20, 2010.
"PBS: The Supreme Court," Anna On Ya Law, Narrator in episodes 1, 2, and 3, 2007.


"The Historical Amnesia of American Immigration Federalism" Polity 47, no. 3 (2015): 302-319.
Walks through the 1787 Constitution to find that the framers did not grant clear authorization for a national immigration power except for the naturalization clause, which pertains only to one narrow part of immigration policy.
"Lunatics, Idiots, Paupers, and Negro Seamen: Immigration Federalism and the Early American State" Studies in American Political Development 28, no. 2 (2014): 107-128.
Explains why the states, not the national government, were fully in charge of immigration policy until 1882.
"Understanding Judicial Decision Making in Immigration at the U.S. Courts of Appeals" (with Margaret Williams). The Justice System Journal 33, no. 1 (2012): 97-119.
Analyzes an array of factors that explain legal outcomes in immigration cases.
"How the Internal Adjudicative Procedures of the Ninth Circuit Can Disadvantage Pro Se and Political Asylum Claimants" Georgetown Immigration Law Journal 25 (2011): 647-679.
Examines how the internal operational rules of a federal court can affect legal outcomes for non-counseled political asylum applicants.
"The Immigration Battle in American Courts" (Cambridge University Press, 2010).
Examines the role of the Supreme Court and U.S. Courts of Appeals in immigration policy making in the United States, while also advancing scholarly understanding about the distinct and evolving missions and functions of the two highest federal appellate courts, the U.S. Courts of Appeals, and the Supreme Court.
"The Diversity Immigration Lottery: A Cycle of Unintended Consequences" Journal of American Ethnic History 21, no. 4 (2002): 3-29.

Traces the legislative history of the visa lottery to show that the provision has not much to do with diversity and is in fact a product of pork barrel politics.