EP #98: Ahilan Arulanantham – Lawyer, Professor & Immigrants’ Right Advocate

Ahilan Arulanantham is a Lawyer, Professor and Co-Director of the Center for Immigration Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law (@uclalawschool). He has successfully litigated a number of cases involving immigrants’ rights, particularly the rights of people facing deportation from the US. He has been Senior Counsel and Director of Advocacy/Legal Director for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU, @aclu_nationwide) of Southern California and was the recipient of a 2016 MacArthur Fellow (a “Genius Grant”).

He joins Ara on this week’s episode of #TheTamilCreator to discuss winning a MacArthur Fellow Grant (@macfound) for $625,000 for a five-year period, the importance of immigrants in Canada and the US, working on the FBI vs. Fazaga case at the Supreme Court, defending the rights of immigrants including unrepresented children, dealing with Tamil food cravings while growing up in California, and much more.

Follow Ahilan:
– Twitter (https://twitter.com/ahilan_toolong)

TAKE THE QUIZ – “What Type of Creator Are You?”**



00:19 – Ara introduces this week’s guest, Ahilan Arulanantham
01:34 – His upbringing; what spared his passion for law and human rights
03:57 – Dealing with Tamil food cravings while growing up in USA; Hopper Hut
07:50 – Winning and donating 25-30% of his $625,00 MacArthur Fellow Grant
13:59 – What is Temporary Protected Status and why Trump tried to end it
20:19 – Ahilan explains and why Obama introduced it during his administration
24:02 – What ICE is, why it was created, and how it affects immigrant rights
28:30 – The importance of immigrants in Canada and the US
30:18 – Dysfunctional prison systems; Ahilan’s secondary inspection story
35:49 – Arguing at the Supreme Court for the FBI vs. Fazaga case
40:00 – Working in the field and as a professor; being recruited by UCLA
41:58 – Mentorship and how Ahilan built his network
45:16 – A learning lesson he’s experienced; defending unrepresented children
49:12 – Where he sees himself in the next 3-5 years
49:19 – Advice he would give his 16-year-old self
50:38 – The personal legacy he wants to leave behind
51:37 – Creator Confessions
54:32 – The Wrap Up

Intro Music

Produced And Mixed By:
– The Tamil Creator
– Yanchan

Written By:
– Aravinthan Ehamparam
– Yanchan Rajmohan