Robert Koulish, Ph.D. is the Director of MLaw Programs, administered through the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences (BSOS). MLaw is a collaboration between UMCP and the UM Carey School of Law, driven by MPOWER. Koulish is Full Research Professor in BSOS and Lecturer at Law at the UMD Carey School of Law in Baltimore, where he teaches a seminar in immigration law and policy. 

Dr. Koulish earned his doctorate in political science from the University of Wisconsin and his Bachelors degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied politics and philosophy.  He has traveled to and conducted research in Central Europe and along the U.S. Mexico border, investigating human rights abuses, refugees and patterns and practices of social control within legal institutions. He has written extensively about the criminalization of immigration. Koulish is married to Steph Flores-Koulish with 3 children: Valentina, Olivia, and Julian, with whom he enjoys biking, sailing, swimming, fishing, and exploring new family ties in Colombia.

Dr. Koulish is co-author of the forthcoming book, Detaining Immigrants, Scoring Criminals, has the new book, Crimmigrant Nations: Resurgent Nationalism and the Closing of Borders (Fordham University Press, 2020), with Maartje van der Woude, and Immigration and American Democracy, Subverting the Rule of Law (Routledge Press). he also has authored numerous peer reviewed academic articles, law review articles, book chapters, and op-ed columns.  He has conducted research on immigration at the US-Mexico Border, and minority rights of Roma in Hungary.  Koulish has taken students to the U.S.-Mexico border at Ciudad Juarez-El Paso and the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas, and to Roma settlements around Budapest.  Koulish is a founding member of CINETS--Crimmigration Control International Net of Studies (, a growing network of critical immigration law scholars, which hosts bi-annual international conferences, book volumes and research collaborations. 

Koulish is currently investigating new risk tools in immigration custody determinations, dealing with detention and alternatives to detention, with several forthcoming articles, book chapters and edited book volume on the topic. The first article from his research in the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal (GILJ) is  here. And the most recent article also in the GILJ (Vol. 36: No. 1, Fall 2021) is here. Samples of the risk tool can be seen here:




Koulish Robert

1117B Chincoteague Hall
Maryland Law Programs
rkoulish [at]