Immigration Reform and the Democratic Will
Daniel I. Morales
DePaul University College of Law
February 11, 2013
University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Social Change, Vol. 16, 2013, republished in 34 Immigr. & Nat’lity L. Rev. ___ (2014, Forthcoming)
The character of the American immigration regime has remained remarkably stable over many decades. It changes, to be sure, sometimes granting migrants benefits and at other moments cracking down. However, the broad trend is unmistakable: immigration law and the way it is implemented is increasingly harsh and inhumane. This article argues that this long-term trend is likely to continue — even in the event of comprehensive immigration reform — unless the immigration reform agenda reconciles itself with the structural elements responsible for this trend and imagines ways to counteract them. In particular I urge a reconsideration of the relationship between the immigration reform agenda and the democratic will. Rather than focus on finding ways to quash anti-migrant policies that are responsive to the democratic will, reformers should develop creative, democratically legitimate ways to alter the demands that citizens make.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 45
Keywords: immigration reform, immigration, United States v. Arizona, Arizona S.B. 1070, social change, legal theory, political theory, comprehensive immigration reform, illegal immigration, undocumented migrationAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 18, 2013 ; Last revised: May 30, 2014
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