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Immigration conference focus of interview with Hessick

October 01, 2010

Associate Professor Carissa Byrne Hessick of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law was interviewed about immigration, the focus of an upcoming conference at the College of Law, during a segment on Horizon on Thursday, Sept. 30.

Hessick, who organized the Oct. 8 conference, “The role of the states in immigration policy and enforcement,” told host Ted Simons that Arizona is ground zero in the immigration debate, not just because of its proximity to the Mexico border.

“There are a few really unique situations and circumstances that gave rise to this issue in Arizona,” she said. “One of them is there were political actors who were willing to enact this sort of law. Another was they were working with some people from out of state who were helping them to draft this law, and I think it’s also the political climate within Arizona and about how important immigration has ended up becoming in this election.”

Hessick said she hopes the conference, which includes remarks by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (ret.) and keynote address by Professor Douglas S. Massey of Princeton University, will help the public learn more about the issues. To register, go to

“A conference like this could help bring down the heat and intensity,” she said. “What we’re really looking for is to bring some nuance and to bring some facts and some rationality into this debate.”

To watch the full interview, click here.

Hessick teaches Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law, and a seminar on sentencing law and policy. Her research focuses on aggravation and mitigation in criminal sentencing, relative crime severity, and other political and doctrinal issues associated with sentencing. She recently completed an article to be published in the California Law Review on the constitutionality of common sentencing factors, as well as an article in the Boston University Law Review on whether military service and other good works ought to be treated as mitigating sentencing factors. She currently is working on a manuscript about the Double Jeopardy Clause.

Janie Magruder,
(480) 727-9052
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law