On April 18, 2018, immigration law professors and scholars authored statement to Senate Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Border Security and Immigration (available here) seeking to uphold the judicial independence of the Immigration Courts and encouraging the Judiciary Committee to consider legislation that would lead to the creation of an independent immigration court as well as to engage in robust oversight of the Department of Justice. The report featured stories from the Vanderbilt Immigration Clinic's representation of asylum seekers in Tennessee where access to counsel and the courts is limited for immigrants who cannot afford counsel.

Co-Authored Amicus Briefs

U.S. Supreme Court Amicus Brief (available here) for IRAP v. Trump, Sept. 2017 on behalf of Immigration Law Scholars arguing that the Immigration and Nationality Act as a whole constrains the President's power to suspend entry of "classes of aliens."

U.S. Supreme Court (here) and District Court for Washington D.C. Amicus Brief (available here) for Pars Equality Center v. Trump Spring 2017 on behalf of Howard Civil Rights Clinic and Law Professors (arguing Trump Executive order inflicts irreparable harm on the plaintiffs, as well as American institutions of higher education, by restricting the free exchange of ideas and persons across borders and by legitimizing anti-Muslim suspicion and antagonism that has led to increased hate incidents and violence against Muslim-American and foreign Muslim faculty, staff and students on university and college campuses across the country).

U.S. Supreme Court Amicus Brief (available here): for G.G. v. Gloucester Cnty, School Board, on behalf of Howard University School of Law Civil Rights Clinic Students (Title IX & Equal Protection Rights for Transgender Students arguing that the school board policy at issue mandating separate, single-sex restrooms for transgender students is reminiscent of the ‘separate but equal’ doctrine that hindered racial equality for school children for over half a century).

U.S. Supreme Court Amicus Brief(available here): for Bank of America v. City of Miami, 800 F.3d 1262 (2015), on behalf of immigrant communities drafted in collaboration with Howard University School of Law Civil Rights Clinic Students & Asians Advancing Justice (challenging predatory lending practices focusing the impact on immigrant communities).

US-Delegation from University of Tennessee/Knoxville visits Refugee Camps in Hessen Germany

Felsberger Institution for Education and Academic Research Report on University of Tennessee Interdisciplinary Delegation to Germany to learn about the treatment and processing of Refugees in Germany.

UTK Immigration Clinic Students Succeed in Representing Syrian Refugee, Spring 2015


WBIR, Knoxville NBC Affiliate, UT Legal Clinic helps student from Syria Secure Asylum (May 14, 2015).

WBIR, NBC Affiliate, Syrian Asylum Case: UT Legal Clinic helping Syrian Christian whose Life is at Stake (April 16, 2015).

Immigration Clinic Students Travel to Artesia New Mexico to Provide Pro Bono Assistance, Fall 2014


Professor Karla McKanders led students of the UT Law Immigration Clinic on a fall break trip to Artesia, New Mexico, to help immigrant women and children from Central America apply for asylum and other forms of humanitarian relief. (Produced by UTK Law Student, Patrick Morrison.)

McKanders Receives UTK Community Outreach Grant for Project, Spring 2014

Immigrant Legal Literacy: Empowering the Community One Person at a Time

 Project Description and Outcomes

McKanders and Law Student Travel to Swaziland, October 2010

Student research assistant and I traveled to Swaziland in October 2010 to start international program with Saving Orphans through Healthcare and Outreach to collaborate with the legislature, judges and non-profit organizations to address the human rights of HIV orphaned children.