Volume 23.2

We are excited to publish Volume 23.2. See below for specific articles:

Executive Article:

Why Matter of Devera Matters: Universal Pre-K, Quality, Oversight, and the Need to Restore Public Values in New York Statutory Interpretation by Natalie Gomez-Velez

Notes and Comments Section:

The Fight for NYCHA: RAD and the Erosion of Public Housing in New York by Kyle Giller

Ethical Mediation in an Unjust World: Claiming Bias and Negotiating Fairness by Jessica Halperin

The Impact of the #MeToo Movement on Defamation Claims Against Survivors by Shaina Weisbrot

Public Interest Practitioner’s Section:

Permanently Residing Under Color of Law: A Practitioner’s Guide to an Ambiguous Doctrine by Steven Sacco and Sarika Saxena

Footnote Forum:

Traumatized to Death: The Cumulative Effects of Serial Parole Denials

by Richard Rivera

Interview with Dilley Delegation Staff

Footnote Forum Podcast:

CUNY School of Law Dilley Delegation FOIA Request by CUNY Dilley Delegation

CUNY Law Review Statement of Solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement

CUNY Law Review – #BLM Solidarity & Reading List

CUNY Law Review expresses extreme sorrow in the wake of the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. Race motivated killings in America have ravaged the communities of African Americans since its inception and it is in this moment that we must reconcile this ugly history. We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and call for an end to the senseless killings perpetrated under the color of law. Together in this moment we show our solidarity with the movement and express our deepest condolences to all those lost. Please click the link for a more in-depth discussion. #BLM

Volume 23.1

We are excited to publish Volume 23.1. See below for specific articles or explore the complete digital version here.


Cities in International Law: Reclaiming Rights as Global Custom by Andrew Bodiford, graduate of CUNY School of Law.

Notes & Comments

Generating Trauma: How the United States Violates the Human Rights of Incarcerated Mothers and Their Children by Christina Scotti, graduate of CUNY School of Law.

Education Is Liberation: The Power of Alternative Education Spaces by Matthew Amani Glover, CUNY School of Law Class of 2020.

More “Municipal” Than “Court”: Using the Eleventh Amendment to Hold Municipal Courts Liable for Their Modern-Day Debtors’ Prison Practices by Sonya Levitova, CUNY School of Law Class of 2020.

Public Interest Practitioner Section

Dismantling the Pillars of White Supremacy: Obstacles in Eliminating Disparities and Achieving Racial Justice by Kevin E. Jason, Assistant Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

Civil Gideon and NYC’s Universal Access: Why Comprehensive Public Benefits Advocacy Is Essential to Preventing Evictions and Creating Stability by Jack Newton, Paula Arboleda, Michael Connors, and Vianca Figueroa, Legal Services NYC.

Dilley Delegation Staff Interview

Footnote Forum Podcast, a CUNY Law Review Production

Recommended Citation: Footnote Forum Podcast, ​Interview with Dilley Delegation Staff, 23 CUNY L. Rev. F. 40 (2020)

Click here to view a pdf version of this article


Part I

Reena Novotnak: You’re listening to Footnote Forum, a production of the law review at City University of New York School of Law. I’m your editor and host, Reena Novotnak, and I’m joined by our guests, two CUNY Law students.

Joanna Lopez: My name is Jo Lopez, I’m a 3L in the full-time program.

Jacklyn Mann: Hi everyone, I’m Jackie Mann, I’m also a 3L here.

Reena Novotnak: This year, on the podcast, we focused on the Freedom of Information Act and Freedom of Information Law, or FOIA and FOIL. Jo and Jackie joined us to talk about their experience with the Dilley Delegation, and the challenges and lack of transparency they faced when preparing their clients for asylum hearings. Right now, you’re listening to part one of two of this interview. In this episode, you’ll also hear the voices of two law review staffers: Maya Kouassi and Cesar Ruiz. But it’s Jo here who’ll start us off.

Joanna Lopez: The Dilley delegation was a year-long effort initiated by three students to bring together other CUNY Law students and law professors to be able to provide much-needed on-the-ground work in Dilley, Texas.[1] In a nutshell, we spent a week at the South Texas Family Residential Center and assisted mothers and their children as they prepared for their credible fear interviews. So, much of the work that was done that week was spending 12 to 14-hour days at the detention center and working with women, and listening to their stories, and finding a way to structure their experiences in a way that was palatable to an asylum officer so that they would receive a positive interview and move forward in the asylum process, and also be released from detention, which is a really crucial part of the work that we were doing.

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Dilley FOIA Request



Recommended Citation: CUNY Dilley Delegation, FOIA Request, 23 CUNY L. Rev. F. 70 (2020)

Click here to view a pdf version of this article

TO: U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services

National Records Center, FOIA/PA Office

P. O. Box 648010

Lee’s Summit, MO 64064-8010

FOIA Officer/Public Liaison: Jill Eggleston

Phone: 1-800-375-5283 (USCIS Contact Center)

Fax: 816-350-5785

E-mail: [email protected]


Dear Ms. Eggleston,

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. We ask to be provided with all guidance and policy on providing notice for credible fear interviews for defensive asylum applicants in federal detention.

I.     Introduction

Fear is at the heart of an application for asylum.[1] Some asylum seekers fear abusive spouses, others fear ruthless gangs or interfaith violence.[2] Whatever the reason, that fear creates a moral imperative for the United States to give shelter, and it creates a defense enshrined in federal law.[3] Credible fear interviews (“CFI”) represent the first threshold towards asylum.[4]

Advocates on the ground report that immigrants in detention receive little to no notice for these interviews, which is a potential violation of the Fifth Amendment.[5] Without proper notice, asylum applicants cannot prepare to discuss what are often the most traumatizing moments of their lives. Therefore, we would like to know what federal policies exist for providing notice regarding CFIs, and what, if any, guidance exists for implementing that notice.

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Traumatized to Death: The Cumulative Effects of Serial Parole Denials

Content warning: discussion of suicide.

If you are thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255).

Recommended Citation: Richard Rivera, Traumatized to Death: The Cumulative Effects of Serial Parole Denials, 23 CUNY L. Rev. F. 25 (2020)

Authored By: Richard Rivera


On August 3, 2016, after forty years of continuous incarceration, seventy-year-old John MacKenzie was locked in his cell for the night and killed himself.[1] He was not discovered until the next morning. A month earlier, John had made his tenth and final appearance before the New York State Board of Parole and was denied release to parole for the tenth consecutive time.[2] Rumors about why John decided to end his life abound among prisoners, especially among those who knew him. “He was killed by the CO’s,” many claimed, subscribing to ready-made narratives about correction officers fed, in large part, by their own fears and apprehensions about all things prison. “He made a pact with himself not to do a day over forty years,” the long-termers[3] asserted,[4] zeroing in on the existential crisis that might drive a man like John to suicide. Whatever speculations surround John’s death, his repeated encounters with the Board of Parole certainly factored into his decision to end it. In a final letter to his daughter, John put it this way: “They’re hell-bent on keeping me in prison,” and “I don’t believe I’ll last much longer.”[5]

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Recommended Citation: Osha Oneeka Daya Brown, Lee Doane, Sterling Fleming, Hakim Trent, Jeremy Valerio, &and Outside Organizers with No New Jails NYC, $11 Billion for What?! Incarcerated Organizers with No New Jails NYC Explain How to Shut Down Rikers

Click here to view a pdf version of this article

Osha Oneeka Daya Brown, Lee Doane, Sterling Fleming, Hakim Trent, Jeremy Valerio, and Outside Organizers with No New Jails NYC

The House of the Interpreter

                 The Social Studies class didn’t teach me shits your Honor
                      We was shooting dice at third period
                 WE WAS in the bathrooms getting nice smoking
                      blunts at third period
                 My principal was a drug dealer
                      My teachers was drug feelers
                 My projects was an institution that prep me for
                      THE Metal fence institution
                 We went to jail to have family reunions
                 This is deeper then confusion
                 No computers, No cellphones
                      The history class didn’t teach me the truth about
                      myself I’m actually more valuable than what you
                 considered to be wealth
                 The system treated me like a gun used me and placed
                      back on the shelf the science class didn’t teach
                 me about health
                 I’m dominant
                      We need COOPERATIVE ECONOMICS to reach our
                                                               – Hakim Trent-El

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Announcing the Footnote Forum podcast!

Dear friends,

We’re pleased to announce the inaugural episode of the CUNY Law Review Footnote Forum podcast. The first episode, an interview with Professor Doug Cox, is available on this site and will shortly be available on Apple Music and Spotify as well. Listen here—and stay tuned for the next episode.

2020 Symposium: “Democracy At Your Fingertips: Your Voice, Your Vote, Make It Count”

On April 3, 2020, the CUNY Law Review (CUNYLR) will host its Spring Symposium at CUNY School of Law in Long Island City. The Symposium is an opportunity for an interdisciplinary gathering of legal scholars, practitioners, and community advocates to engage in dialogue on contemporary legal issues. 

At its conception, voting power in the United States of America was exclusively reserved for educated white men who owned property. A century of progress, where communities that were barred from suffrage saw gains in their access to the ballot box, continues to be threatened by concerted efforts to deny them their right to vote.

As such, this year CUNYLR will examine the interplay between voter rights, technology, and democracy, specifically on the issues of  gerrymandering, the 2020 Census, and the upcoming election. Our goal is to raise awareness about these issues and develop innovative solutions to address the disenfranchisement of marginalized communities. We will use the theme of accessibility to ground our discussion, focusing on how marginalized communities can continue to gain access to the ballot and ensure that their rights are not stripped by unjust laws and policies. This theme will evolve through the lens of three different panels:

2020 Census and Counting Communities of Color

The U.S. Constitution requires a Census every ten years.  The Census determines the number of congressional seats per district, and the data collected is then used to allocate federal funds for services that include Medicaid, SNAP, and Head Starts. Needless to say, ensuring that there is an accurate count is important, as an undercount can have dire consequences on communities of color. This panel will focus on the recent litigation surrounding the citizenship question on the 2020 Census, and other relevant laws and policies. Panelists will explore strategies and policies to ensure that every person is counted in the upcoming census regardless of their background. 

Voter Suppression & Language Access for the Ballot

Voting is the language of American democracy, yet there continues to be barriers to voting such as long lines at polling sites, voter ID requirements, broken voting machines, and even legislation aimed at keeping formerly incarcerated individuals from exercising their rights to vote. This panel will focus on raising these issues and discussing policies that will combat voter suppression in America, particularly in communities of color. Panelists are also encouraged to discuss the Ranked Choice Voting or Instant Run-Off Voting and how this will impact election results in the years to come.  

Tech & Democracy

Almost every aspect of our lives is shaped by digital technology and its immense efficiency. Yet in one vital area – the election of our political representatives – we still use pencil and paper, and for far too long, we have counted each ballot by hand. Following the controversial Bush v. Gore election, the voting process evolved. Now, voting does not simply rely on hand-counted paper ballots, but also on other innovative technologies such as electronic voting machines, punch-card voting machines, and more. Americans deserve to feel confident that our votes are accurately counted and protected. 

Our final panel is an opportunity to look at how emerging technology affects the integrity of elections and the efforts to ensure the fairness and accuracy of poll numbers. Panelists are encouraged to weigh the pros and cons of using technology in the voting process, and whether this has increased benefits and access for voters across various communities. 

For further information, please contact the Special Events Editor, Mirian Albert ([email protected]) or Community Engagement Editor, Christina Das ([email protected]). 

CUNY Law Review presents the Spring 2020 Symposium

The CUNY Law Review is proud to present our Spring 2020 Symposium, Democracy at Your Fingertips: Your Voice, Your Vote, Make It Count. The Symposium will take place on April 3, 2020.