Choiceless Choices: Deportation and the Parent-Child Relationship
David B. Thronson
Michigan State University College of Law
July 3, 2008
Nevada Law Review, Vol. 6, p. 1165, 2006
Bender's Immigration Bulletin, Vol. 12, p. 167, February 15, 2007
UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-35
Although family relationships play a central role in immigration law, immigration law ultimately makes judgments about individuals. Given that the vast majority of children live in the context of family, there are tensions between children's and parent's rights in situations where immigration law reaches different conclusions about the legal rights of parents and children to remain in the United States. These tensions are exacerbated by immigration law's conceptualization of adult parents as active rights holders and children as passive objects subject to their control. The article places the immigration framework in broader context of the parent-child relationship and explains ways in which family law does not trump, but rather transcends immigration law. One implication of this is that family courts, not immigration courts, are the ultimate decision makers in the resolution of family differences regarding separation prompted by the operation of immigration laws.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 51
Keywords: immigration, family, children's rights, deportation
JEL Classification: I30, K1, K10, K19, K3, K39, K4
Date posted: July 21, 2008 ; Last revised: October 6, 2008
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