Deborah Anker

Clinical Professor of Law

Founder and Director, Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic

Biography

Deborah Anker is Clinical Professor of Law and Founder and Director of the Harvard Law School Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program (HIRC).  She has taught law students at Harvard for over 30 years.  Author of a leading treatise, Law of Asylum in the United States, Anker has co-drafted ground-breaking gender asylum guidelines and amicus curiae briefs.  Professor Anker is one of the most widely known asylum scholars and practitioners in the United States; she is cited frequently by international and domestic courts and tribunals, including the United States Supreme Court.  Deborah Anker is a pioneer in the development of clinical legal education in the immigration field, training students in direct representation of refugees and creating a foundation for clinics at law schools around the country.

Areas of Interest

Deborah E. Anker, Law of Asylum in the United States (Thomson West 2016).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Immigration Law
,
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Book
Abstract
"Law of Asylum in the United States is an authoritative presentation of U.S. asylum law, long considered a must-have publication for practitioners, students, and teachers. It is frequently relied upon and cited by decision makers. Law of Asylum describes and interprets applicable U.S. laws, as well as numerous international sources, providing an up-to-date analysis of all aspects of asylum law. This edition addresses current hot topics such as the recent decision in Matter of A-R-C-G-, finding a Guatemalan woman subject to severe spousal abuse eligible for asylum as a member of a particular social group, as domestic violence may form a basis of an asylum claim and gender may define a particular social group, and the rethinking of social distinction and particularity in social group claims. In addition, the extensive Procedures Appendix, added last year, has been expanded and thoroughly updated to provide an invaluable resource for practitioners and researchers interested in the U.S. asylum and related processes." --Publisher
Deborah E. Anker & Josh Vittor, International Human Rights and US Refugee Law: Synergies and Contradictions, in Human Rights and the Refugee Definition: Comparative Legal Practice and Theory 109 (Bruce Burson & David James Cantor eds., 2016).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Refugee & Asylum Law
,
Human Rights Law
Type: Book
Deborah E. Anker & Palmer Lawrence, 'Third Generation' Gangs, Warfare in Central America, and Refugee Law’s Political Opinion Ground, 14-10 Immigr. Briefings (Oct. 2014).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Article
Deborah E. Anker, Legal Change From the Bottom Up: The Development of Gender Asylum Jurisprudence in the United States, in Gender in Refugee Law: From the Margins to the Centre 46 (Efrat Arbel, Catherine Dauvergne & Jenni Millbank eds., 2014).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Gender & Sexuality
,
Immigration Law
,
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Book
Abstract
Questions of gender have strongly influenced the development of international refugee law over the last few decades. This volume assesses the progress toward appropriate recognition of gender-related persecution in refugee law.
Deborah E. Anker, Grutter v. Bollinger: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Legitimization of the Role of Comparative and International Law in U.S. Jurisprudence, 127 Harv. L. Rev. 425 (2013). (Essays in Honor of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg)
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
,
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Legal Theory & Philosophy
,
Foreign Law
,
International Law
Type: Article
Deborah Anker, Nancy Kelly, John Willshire Carrera & Sabrineh Ardalan, Mejilla-Romero: A New Era For Child Asylum, 12-09 Immigr. Briefings 1 (Thompson-Reuters Sept. 2012).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
,
Family Law
Sub-Categories:
Immigration Law
,
Children's Law & Welfare
Type: Article
Abstract
This briefing highlights the importance of a child-centered approach in children’s asylum cases by focusing on Mejilla-Romero v. Holder, a recent First Circuit Court of Appeals case presented by the Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic at Greater Boston Legal Services.
Deborah E. Anker, Corroboration, Credibility and Nexus in Asylum Law, in Immigration Practice Pointers (2012-2013) 466 (Gregory P. Adams, et al. eds., American Immigration Lawyers Association 2012).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Book
Deborah E. Anker & Sabrineh Ardalan, Escalating Persecution of Gays and Refugee Protection: Comment on Queer Cases Make Bad Law, 44 N.Y.U. J. Int'l L. & Pol. 529 (2012).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
LGBTQ Rights Law
,
Immigration Law
,
Gender & Sexuality
,
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Article
Abstract
The authors discuss the escalation of persecution regarding the protection of gays and refugees with respect to the article written by Josan Pobjoy and James C. Hathaway. They are critical of the ideas of Hathaway and Pobjoy on the false analyzing by the courts of Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia on the refugee status of the LGBT people. Information on the jurisprudence by the courts of the U.S. on the issue of sexual orientation is also presented.
Deborah E. Anker, Gender-based Particular Social Group Claims, in Immigration Practice Pointers (2011-2012) 553 (Gregory P. Adams, et al. eds., American Immigration Lawyers Association 2011).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Book
Fatma E. Marouf & Deborah E. Anker, Socioeconomic Rights and Refugee Status: Deepening the Dialogue Between Human Rights and Refugee Law, 103 Am. J. Int'l L. 784 (2009).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Refugee & Asylum Law
,
Human Rights Law
Type: Article
Abstract
Over the past two decades, international human rights law has provided an increasingly useful framework for interpreting key criteria of the definition of a refugee. A human rights-based approach to analyzing refugee status helps to increase consistency and uniformity in decision making by state parties regarding who qualifies for international protection. Michelle Foster's book, International Refugee Law and Socio-economic Rights: Refuge from Deprivation (Cambridge U. Press 2007), comes at a critical time, not only because of increasing acceptance of the connection between refugee law and human rights law and significant developments in the current understanding of economic and social rights, but also because more asylum applicants are articulating the aspects of their claims involving socioeconomic deprivation. All jurisdictions, including the United States, now recognize that socioeconomic harm can rise to the level of persecution, but inconsistencies and insecurities still obstruct attempts at coherent analysis. Foster's meticulous research, sober reasoning, and original analysis may encourage additional scholarship on these pressing issues and lead to a more sophisticated understanding of both the refugee definition and the substantive content of economic and social rights. The proper adjudication of socioeconomic claims will likely play a vital role in challenging the lingering, dominant orthodoxy of civil and political rights, help coalesce the relationship between human rights and refugee law, and promote the development of refugee law, with some coherency, as a body of law.
Deborah E. Anker, Matthew Muller, Emily Gumper & Jean C. Han, Any Real Change: Credibility and Corroboration After the REAL ID Act, in Immigration & Nationality Law Handbook 357 (Richard J. Link ed., Am. Immigration Lawyers Ass'n 2008).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Immigration Law
Type: Book
Abstract
Written three years after the enactment of the REAL ID Act, this piece analyzes the implications of the act on assessments of credibility and corroboration requirements in asylum and related protection cases.
Deborah E. Anker & Matthew Muller, Explaining Credibility Assessment in the Asylum Procedure, 19 Int'l J. Refugee L. 599 (2007) (reviewing Explaining Credibility Assessment in the Asylum Procedure (Gregor Noll ed., 2007).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Article
Deborah E. Anker, Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law, & Justice: Symposium on Gender Migration (2007).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Gender & Sexuality
,
Immigration Law
Type: Presentation
Abstract
Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law, & Justice: Symposium on Gender Migration
Deborah E. Anker, Grounds for Asylum, Withholding, and CAT Protection: Current Issues and Recent Developments, in 40th Annual Immigration & Naturalization Institute (Practising Law Institute 2007).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Book
Deborah E. Anker, Lena Ayoub, H. Glenn Fogle Jr. & Matthew Muller, Stepping Up to the Bar: Exclusions from Asylum and Withholding of Removal Protection, in Immigration & Nationality Law Handbook 348 (American Immigration Lawyers Association 2007).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Book
Deborah E. Anker, Membership in a Particular Social Group: Recent Developments in U.S. Law, in Proceedings of 2005 Annual Immigration Law Conference (Austin Fragomen ed., Practising Law Institute 2005).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Immigration Law
Type: Book
Deborah E. Anker, Refugee Law, Gender and the Human Rights Paradigm, in Passing Lines: Sexuality and Immigration (Brad Epps ed., Harv. Univ. Press 2005).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Immigration Law
,
Gender & Sexuality
,
Refugee & Asylum Law
,
Human Rights Law
Type: Book
Abstract
The book looks at the complexities, inconsistencies, and paradoxes of immigration from the point of view of both academics and practitioners in the field.
Deborah E. Anker, James L. Cavallaro & Avantika Shastri, Towards the Lowest Common Denominator: Canada Guts Post-9/11 Refugee Protection, 9 Bender's Immigr. Bull. 1028 (2004).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Article
Deborah E. Anker, Refugee Law, Gender and Human Rights Paradigm,15 Harv. Hum. Rts. J. 133 (2002).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Human Rights Law
,
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Article
Deborah E. Anker, Refugee Status and Violence Against Women in the 'Domestic Sphere', 15 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 391 (2001).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Article
Deborah E. Anker, Refugee Protection, Gender-Based Violence and Trafficking in Persons, 23 In Defense of the Alien 129 (2000).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Gender & Sexuality
,
Immigration Law
,
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Article
Deborah E. Anker, Joan Fitzpatrick & Andrew Shaknove, Crisis and Cure: A Reply to Hathaway, Neve and Schuck, 11 Harv. Hum. Rts. J. 295 (1998).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Article
Deborah E. Anker, Women Refugees: Forgotten No Longer?, in Europe and Refugees: a challenge? 125 (Jean-Yves Carlier & Dirk Vanheule eds., 1997).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Gender & Sexuality
,
Immigration Law
,
Refugee & Asylum Law
,
European Law
,
Human Rights Law
Type: Book
Deborah E. Anker, Rape in the Community as a Basis for Asylum; The Treatment of Women Refugees: Claims to Protection in Canada and the United States, Part I & II; Mental Harm and Suffering as Persecution, Bender's Immigr. L. Bull. (1997)(Bi-weekly column from 1997-1998).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Article
Deborah Anker, Lauren Gilbert & Nancy Kelly, Women Whose Governments Are Unable or Unwilling to Provide Reasonable Protection from Domestic Violence May Qualify as Refugees under United States Asylum Law, 11 Geo. Immigr. L.J. 709 (1997).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Immigration Law
,
Gender & Sexuality
,
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Article
Abstract
Since the issuance of the United States Gender Guidelines in 1995, the immigration agencies have faced special challenges in applying them in particular cases, and in institutionalizing their commitments and principles. Since adoption of the guidelines, many asylum officers, immigration judges and Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) trial attorneys have shown greater sensitivity in addressing gender-related asylum claims. Nonetheless, in some cases lawyers for the INS have suggested that a heightened test of extraordinary persecution is appropriate or that the applicant must show persecution on account of gender plus something else in order to prevail. Claims involving domestic violence have raised particular concerns. Although the guidelines state that domestic violence can be the basis for an asylum claim, some INS attorneys have suggested that domestic violence is a private family matter not subject to protection under United States asylum law. As a result, this article originally was submitted as a position paper by the Refugee Law Center, Inc. and the Women and International Law Program of American University's Washington College of Law, in collaboration with other nongovernmental organizations, to the INS. Its purpose was to provide a framework of analysis of domestic violence as a human rights violation and as a basis for asylum protection.
Deborah Anker, Women Refugees: Forgotten No Longer?, in Neither Victim Nor Enemy: Women's Freedom Network Looks at Gender in America 203 (Rita J. Simon ed., 1995).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Immigration Law
,
Gender & Sexuality
,
Refugee & Asylum Law
,
Human Rights Law
Type: Book
Deborah E. Anker, The Mischaracterized Asylum Crisis: Realities Behind Proposed Reforms, 9 Am. U. Int'l L. Rev. 29 (1994).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Article
Deborah E. Anker, The Legal Position of Foreigners in the United States, in 11 Comp. L. Y.B. 129 (Dennis Campbell ed., 1992).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Immigration Law
Type: Book
Deborah E. Anker, Determining Asylum Claims in the United States: A Case Study on the Implementation of Legal Norms in an Unstructured Adjudicatory Environment, 19 N.Y.U. Rev. L. & Soc. Change 433 (1992).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Article
Deborah E. Anker, First Asylum Issues under United States Law, in Asylum Law and Practice in Europe and North America: A Comparative Analysis by Leading Experts 125 (Geoffrey Coll & Jacqueline Bhabha eds., Federal Publ'n 1992).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Book
Haitian Political Asylum: A manual for Pro Bono Representation of Guantanamo Haitians (Cheryl A.E. Little, Deborah E. Anker & Gail Pendleton eds., 1992).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Book
Abstract
This manual is intended to provide a general overview of asylum law and procedure to the volunterr practitioner who has little or no immigration law experience. It provides a detailed description of the procedures for applying for asylum (preparing and filing an asylum application for Haitians, including interviewing techniques, and applying for work authorization; framing the claim; theories of the case; preparing for the asylum interview and responding to a denial; a description of the legal asylum; and hearings before the immigration courts. It includes also extended appendises.
Deborah E. Anker & Carolyn P. Blum, The Supreme Court's Decision in INS v. Elias-Zacarias: Is There Any 'There' There?, 69 Interpreter Releases 285 (1992).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Immigration Law
Type: Article
Deborah E. Anker, Determining Asylum Claims in the United States: Executive Summary of an Empirical Study of the Adjudication of Asylum Claims Before the Immigration Court, in Refugee Policy: Canada and the United States 268 (Howard Adelman ed., 1991).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
,
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
,
Government & Politics
,
Disciplinary Perspectives & Law
Sub-Categories:
Immigration Law
,
Empirical Legal Studies
,
Congress & Legislation
,
Administrative Law & Agencies
,
Refugee & Asylum Law
,
Human Rights Law
Type: Book
Deborah E. Anker, U.S. Immigration and Refugee Policy: A Brief Historical Perspective, 13 In Defense of the Alien 74 (1991).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
,
Discrimination & Civil Rights
Sub-Categories:
Immigration Law
,
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Article
Deborah E. Anker, Determining Asylum Claims in the United States - Summary Report of an Empirical Study of the Adjudication of Asylum Claims before the Immigration Court, 2 Int'l J. Refugee L. 252 (1990).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Article
Deborah E. Anker & Kate Tweedy McGrath, The New Battleground of Asylum Eligibility, in World Refugee Survey: 1988 in Review 29 (U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants 1988).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Book
Deborah E. Anker, Discretionary Asylum: A Protection Remedy for Refugees Under the Refugee Act of 1980, 28 Va. J. Int'l L. 1 (1987).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Article
Deborah E. Anker, Jean v. Nelson: Neutral Principles in the Supreme Court Without the Constitution, 8 Immigr. J. 1 (1985).
Categories:
Discrimination & Civil Rights
,
Constitutional Law
Sub-Categories:
Immigration Law
,
Discrimination
Type: Article
Deborah E. Anker, The Refugee Act of 1980: An Historical Perspective, 5 Defense of the Alien 159 (1984).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Article
Deborah E. Anker & Michael Posner, The Forty Year Crisis: A Legislative History of The Refugee Act of 1980, 19 San Diego L. Rev. 9 (1981).
Categories:
International, Foreign & Comparative Law
Sub-Categories:
Refugee & Asylum Law
Type: Article

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