Episode 7: Perceptional Gaps, Migration, and Human Rights

April 17, 2023

In this episode of the JLPP Laws Flaws podcast, Senior Online Editor Teddy Rube and 2L editor Ian Allen interviewed Professor J. Mauricio Gaona, the author of the article The Perceptional Gap: Rethinking ‘The Migrant Threat’ in JLPP’s issue 25.1. Professor Gaona explored the interdisciplinary approach he took in the piece—combining physics, neuroscience, and philosophy—and explained why wealthy nations like the United States treat certain immigrants like threats instead of with compassion. Professor Gaona explained why a reorientation in how our legal system assesses threats and the “other” is critical to creating a more realistic, more efficient, and more compassionate system of migrant support that will benefit migrants themselves and the countries receiving them. Along the way, he spoke powerfully about his career-long work in human rights and how his roots in Colombia have inspired his work.  

Guest Biography: J. Mauricio Gaona is an Oppenheimer Scholar at McGill University, an O’Brien Fellow at McGill’s Center for Human Rights, and a Visiting Fellow at HRC Indianapolis. His scholarship focuses on human rights gaps defining global trends in migration, democracy, and technology. Before academia, Dr. Gaona served as Assistant to the Attorney General of Colombia, National Deputy Comptroller, and Law Clerk to the Chief Justice of the Colombia Supreme Court for Administrative Justice (State Council). Dr. Gaona holds a Ph.D. from McGill University with residence at Harvard Law School (IGLP), an LL.M. from UCLA School of Law, an M2 from University Paris II Panthéon-Assas, and an LL.B. from Externado University.