Experts & Staff
Executive Director, Human Rights Program, University of Chicago
Susan Gzesh, a Nonresident Fellow, is Executive Director of the Human Rights Program at the University of Chicago and is a Senior Lecturer in the Social Sciences Collegiate Division. She teaches courses on human-rights topics, including the prohibition on torture and the rights of aliens and citizens. The Human Rights Program offers courses based in the humanities and social sciences, grants internships, and promotes scholarship, conferences, and events which link human-rights "real world" activism and the academy. Ms. Gzesh was a Lecturer in the law school from 1992 until 2003, and is associate faculty with the Center for Latin American Studies and the Friedrich Katz Center for Mexican Studies.
From 1996 to 2001, she was the Director of the Mexico-U.S. Advocates Network, coordinating the Regional Network of Civil Organizations for Migration (the NGO counterpart of the intergovernmental Regional Conference on Migration), as well as the Chicago-Michoacan Project and the Chicago-Mexico Leadership Initiative, all projects which promoted cross-border, transnational dialogues on migration policy and human rights. From 1997-99, Ms. Gzesh was legal advisor to the Minister for Migration Affairs of the Embassy of Mexico. From 1977-96, she practiced civil rights and immigration law representing immigrant workers and refugees, as well as Latino candidates in local elections.
She received her JD from the University of Michigan and her AB from the University of Chicago. She was a Fulbright Lecturer at the Universidad de Guadalajara in 1990, served on the 1992 Clinton-Gore Presidential Transition Team, and is a member of the Illinois governor's New Americans Initiative advisory board, charged with developing immigrant-friendly state policies.
This report examines post-9/11 immigration enforcement practices in the United States through the lens of international human rights. It identifies gaps in the protection of noncitizens’ civil rights under U.S. constitutional law, and then evaluates whether post-9/11 U.S. immigration control measures have complied with obligations under international human rights law with respect to due process protections and the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of national origin or race.
Not long after the United States passed the 1980 Refugee Act, thousands of people began fleeing civil war in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Their treatment in the United States, linked to U.S. foreign policy, spurred the Sanctuary Movement and efforts to grant them refugee status, as Susan Gzesh of the University of Chicago explains.