Michael Kagan

Professor of Law
Director, UNLV Immigration Clinic
Expertise: Immigration Law, International Human Rights Law, Administrative Law


Michael Kagan, director of the UNLV Immigration Clinic, teaches administrative law, professional responsibility, international human rights and immigration law.  In both his research and his clinical teaching, Kagan focuses on the tension between immigration law and civil rights.

Kagan has been published by numerous top law reviews and journals and wrote several of the most widely cited articles in the fields of international refugee and asylum law, which have been relied on by courts in multiple countries.  Kagan’s research on credibility assessment in asylum cases “guided most subsequent research and analysis on the topic,” according to a 2012 commentary. He is frequently interviewed on immigration issues by local, national and global news media, and is a frequent Op-Ed writer, with his work appearing in The Washington PostSalon.comThe Daily BeastWorld Politics Review, and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Before coming to UNLV's Boyd School of Law, Kagan spent 10 years building legal aid programs for refugees throughout the Middle East and Asia, and lived in London, Cairo, Beirut and Jerusalem. He held teaching positions at Tel Aviv University and the American University in Cairo. His role in expanding refugee legal aid in the global south was profiled in Zachary Kaufman’s Social Entrepreneurship in the Age of Atrocities (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2012).


  • J.D., University of Michigan Law School
  • B.A., Northwestern University

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Michael Kagan In The News

89.3 KPCC
July 9, 2019
This is the part of the United States Code that makes entering the U.S. without documents a misdemeanor. It’s repeal would mean that entering the U.S. without papers would be a civil offense, rather than a criminal one.
Huffington Post
July 8, 2019
A string of former Obama administration officials have railed against 2020 hopeful Julián Castro’s call to decriminalize border-crossing, highlighting a widening split between the progressive primary field and parts of the party establishment.
CBS News
May 14, 2019
Sen. Cory Booker is reintroducing legislation Tuesday to block controversial Immigration and Customs Enforcement partnerships with local law enforcement, making the New Jersey Democrat the latest presidential candidate to stake out a position on the issue this year.
May 14, 2019
Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., will reintroduce a bill aimed at preventing Immigration and Customs Enforcement from forming partnerships with local law enforcement, CBS News reports.