[N. B. For the purpose of this exercise assume that the time is January of the year 2017]

Part I  — The Problem

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is an East African country populated by approximately 47 million people. Ethiopia is a landlocked country near the Red Sea. Its citizenry is made up of several major ethnic groups, including the Amhara people (30 %), the Tigray people (20 %), the Oromo (45 %), the Italians (4 %), others (1%).

Amharic is the national language of the country, but about half of the urban population can speak some English. Many Ethiopians were schooled in the United States. English is the language of international trade for the country. The vast majority of Ethiopians are Orthodox Christians. The Christian roots go back to the second century A.D., while 15 % of Ethiopians are Muslims.

In 1960, Ethiopia invaded and annexed the country to its north, the country of Eritrea. Eritrea sits on the Red Sea and provided Ethiopia a sea port. The population of Eritrea is 17 million people. Of this number, 92% of the citizens of Eritrea are of Tigray nationality and   60 % of Eritreans are Muslims. Between 1970 and 1995, Eritria fought a war with Ethiopia to gain its independence. Eritrea won the war in 1995 and is once again an independent country which grants the country of Ethiopia special shipping privileges from the main Eritrean sea port at Massawa. In 1998, Ethiopia and Eritrea again went to war over the boundaries of the northernmost area of Ethiopia and southernmost area of Eritrea. In June of 2000, the two countries ceased hostilities and signed a peace agreement.

Although Ethiopian people and Eritrean people look very much alike, to most outsiders, these nationalities know the difference between each other — and they hate each other’s guts. Ethiopians consider Eritreans lazy and stupid.  Eritreans think of Ethiopians as condescending and spoiled.

For one thousand years, up through the 1970’s, Ethiopia was ruled by a Christian monarchy. However, in 1974-75, a Marxist revolution deposed the last emperor, Haile Selassie. At the time of the revolution, there were many Ethiopian students, scientists, and business people in the U.S. many of them sought and were granted asylum because of their fear of persecution at the hands of the Marxist revolutionaries, if they returned home.

Despite the 1998-2000 border war, both Ethiopia and Eritrea are now at peace and have stable governments. The Marxist government of Ethiopia was overthrown in 1992 and the country now has a democratically elected government. Until recently, the Prime Minister of the country was Meles Zenawi.  Meles lifted his country from the ruins of war and transformed it into one of Africa’s emerging economies and one of the United States Government’s closest African allies. Meles died on August 20, 2012. He was 57 years old.

 Both Ethiopia and Eritrea had been rather poor countries, but far from the poorest in the world.   Coffee and other foodstuffs come from these countries, as well as a number of minerals. Recently, that is, in January of 2013, Ethiopia hit the jackpot with the discovery there of large deposits of the mineral known as “kryptonite.” Over the years computer scientists had proven in numerous tests that kryptonite dust when sprinkled on computer motherboards with Pentium processors, the megabyte capacity of the processors would automatically double; doubling the speed with which such computers function. However, there were only a few places in the world kryptonite could be found. The discovery of large deposits of kryptonite in Ethiopia is revolutionizing the computer hardware production business throughout the world, and particularly in Ethiopia. The mining of Kryptonite is booming in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia is a mountainous country with a pleasant climate and friendly people. As a result of the kryptonite boom, there has been a latter day type gold rush to the country. Miners, business people, scientists, computer experts, hackers, slackers, pistol packers, and many assorted types who wish to make a fast buck want to move there, as well as many Ethiopians who left in the past because of the Marxist revolution.  Money is being made in Ethiopia hand over fist.

Each day more planes land at the International Airport in the capital city of Addis Ababa carrying new arrivals from Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, the U.S., South America, and all parts of Europe, especially Italy. Many of these people believe that the Kryptonite boom will last years, and they want to settle permanently in the country in order to make their fortunes.

The problem for those who wish to remain there is that Meles Zenawi, to his dismay, never got around to developing a comprehensive system of immigration laws. Since the Marxists were ousted in the early 1990’s, Ethiopia had more or less an open door policy. However, the country is becoming overrun with so many different people that Meles’ successor, Hailemiriam Desalegn, the former minister of foreign affairs and now the Prime Minister, has decided that it is time to formulate a comprehensive immigration system.

The basic law now  provides that anyone born on Ethiopian soil or anyone who has at least one native born Ethiopian parent has a right to Ethiopian citizenship. Visas are not needed to enter the country, only a valid passport. The Ethiopians have no concept of what we call “legal permanent  residency.” They also have no concept of the “Immediate Relative.” The President of the country and his experts believe that Ethiopia could absorb, as citizens or permanent residents, an additional population of 47 million people over the next ten years.

Part II — Your Task

As a result of your outstanding work in the Immigration and Nationality course at the Barry University School of Law, after graduation you were asked to work with the United Nations in solving world immigration problems. Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary General of the U.N., has just handed you your travel orders to Addis Ababa as the head of a U.N. team of experts that will develop an immigration system by establishing a set of immigration and nationality laws for the Federal Republic of Ethiopia.

You will leave next Wednesday night at 7:30 pm, fly to Paris, and once in Paris you will board a special Ethiopian Airways government jet which will fly you to Addis.

However, the Secretary General has asked that you provide him with an initial blueprint of your immigration scheme for the country of Ethiopia before you leave.

Your blueprint must be typed and on his desk by 6 p.m. Monday night. The Secretary General expects your blueprint to include reference to the following specific topics and country considerations:

  1. 1.       The blueprint must not be an exact replica of the INA of the United States. That would be too costly and complicated for a country the size of Ethiopia. However, many Ethiopians believe that the only people who should be allowed to work in their country should be either citizens or permanent residents. Do you agree or disagree? Why?


  1. 2.       The blueprint must take into consideration that the Congress of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia is adamant about limiting the number of Eritreans who can become Ethiopian citizens. For thousands of years the monarchy and monied class in Ethiopia was the Amhara people. Although the former and present Prime Ministers of Ethiopia are of the Tigray nationality, 70 % of the members of the Ethiopian Congress are of Amhara nationality. Congress has less than 1 % of Oromo and Italian ethnic minority members. Many in the Congress fear if too many Eritreans immigrate to Ethiopia, the Amhara will lose their historical and religious hegemony in the country. At present, Eritreans cross the border into Ethiopia at will — some work and others trade. They have no concept of visas. It is easier to find jobs in Ethiopia than in Eritrea. Describe how you will limit citizenship of non-Ethiopians.


  1. 3.    Ethiopians seldom travel to Eritrea except for business and to go to the beautiful beaches of the Red Sea. Eritrea does not require them to have visas to enter the country. However, be advised that Eritreans are the best miners in the whole wide world. Even before kryptonite was discovered, Ethiopians encouraged Eritreans to do the country’s dirty work like mining. Should miners from other countries and regions of the world be encouraged to come to Ethiopia? How would your system entice them?


  1. 4.     As a result of the number of foreigners who have already traveled to the country, Secretary Moon suggests that you think in terms of an immigrant visa system that would allow immigration on either a point system or an employment system. Choose one or the other and describe what criteria you suggest for preference in either the point or employment system. Also, explain which branch or branches of the Ethiopian government would oversee your immigration scheme. Ethiopia has three branches of government: an executive, a congress and a federal court system.
  2. 5.              What qualitative or numerical limitations should be placed on the number of people who can immigrate to Ethiopia each year? Secretary General Moon has told you privately that he doubts more than a half million people each year would really want to immigrate to Ethiopia. Also, be apprized that outside of Addis the infrastructure of the country is frail, i.e., poor highways, few schools, areas of severe of drought, etc.

  3. 6.     The Secretary General also suggests that you set up a nonimmigrant visa system for those who might want to visit Ethiopia for business or pleasure with no more than five NIV categories. What categories will you choose and why? Will your system allow any nonimmigrants to work? What would be the requirements?


  1. 7.            On what grounds would certain aliens be inadmissible for entry to Ethiopia? On what grounds would your system accommodate the deportation or removal of certain aliens? Be sure to include in your blueprint reasons or rationales that will allow the deportation of certain immigrants.

  2. 8.     If you set up a system of legal permanent residency, will these permanent residents be allowed to become citizens of Ethiopian? What policy considerations will determine your course? What will be requirements for citizenship at birth or for naturalization?
  3. 9.            Ethiopia is a member of the United Nations and as such should have as part of its immigration law a well-defined refugee and/or asylum policy. What will your advice on this subject be?

  4. 10.   What will be the underlying rationale of this immigration law, e.g. “Family Reunion,” “Cheap Labor,” “Exploitation of kryptonite,” etc.? What will you name the law? Why?



You may organize your blueprint any way you choose; however, you must be coherent and logical for the Secretary General and address the ten points listed above. He has seen many immigration systems during his time with the United Nations and will expect your system to be supported by the case facts outlined above, sound theory, and policy considerations relevant to Ethiopia.

You may rely heavily on your American law experience and your knowledge of the concepts of the INA, but you may not adopt the INA wholesale, as your model for Ethiopia. The reason for this is that several years ago the United States wrote a Constitution for Ethiopia based upon the American model, which proved to be quite unworkable given the various religious and ethnic nationality rivalries in the country.

GOOD LUCK — — and have a nice trip to Addis Ababa.

I hear it’s lovely there this time of year


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