Of Borders and Best Interests: Examining the Experiences of Undocumented Immigrants in U.S. Family Courts

Texas Hispanic Journal of Law and Policy, Vol. 11, p. 45, 2005

Immigration and Nationality Law Review, Vol. 27, 2007

Bender's Immigration Bulletin, Vol. 11, p. 7, Jan. 1, 2006

32 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2008

See all articles by David B. Thronson

David B. Thronson

Michigan State University College of Law

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

This article examines the largely overlooked but decisive role that immigration status frequently plays in family law matters. A systemic review of family court decisions reveals that judges and advocates in the family court setting are all too eager to attach exaggerated legal significance to immigration status with little explanation and no analysis. The article explains how demographic changes in the composition of families and shifts in the nation's immigration laws indicate that the frequency and complexity of immigration status issues in family court will grow. The article then develops a classification of the approaches that family courts adopt when presented with immigration status issues. Identifying and analyzing several key issues that arise within each classification serves to highlight flaws in current family court practices.

Keywords: immigration, children, family, custody

JEL Classification: I30, K1, K10, K19, K4, K3, K39

Suggested Citation

Thronson, David B., Of Borders and Best Interests: Examining the Experiences of Undocumented Immigrants in U.S. Family Courts (2005). Texas Hispanic Journal of Law and Policy, Vol. 11, p. 45, 2005; Immigration and Nationality Law Review, Vol. 27, 2007; Bender's Immigration Bulletin, Vol. 11, p. 7, Jan. 1, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1155213

David B. Thronson (Contact Author)

Michigan State University College of Law ( email )

648 North Shaw Lane
East Lansing, MI 48824
United States

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