Raquel E. Aldana

Raquel Aldana

Position Title
Executive Committee Member

  • Professor, School of Law

Raquel E. Aldana joined UC Davis in 2017 to serve as the inaugural Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Diversity with a law faculty appointment. She returned to full time law teaching at King Hall in 2020. Aldana is a graduate of Arizona State University (earning a bachelor’s degree in English and another in Spanish) and Harvard Law School. Aldana’s research has focused on transitional justice, criminal justice reforms and sustainable development in Latin America, as well as immigrant rights. Aldana teaches asylum and refugee law and immigration law. She has also taught international human rights, lawyering for immigrants, “crimmigration,” international labor law, Latin American comparative law, international public law, and specialized seminars such as the Central American migration corridor and the Comparative Perspectives on Force Migration in the Americas.

Relevant Research Materials/Published Works:


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).

Articles and Essays

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).

Proposed Projects


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.