Defining Family in Immigration Law: Accounting for Non-Traditional Families in Citizenship by Descent

47 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2010 Last revised: 1 Mar 2011

Victoria Degtyareva

Yale University - Law School

Date Written: June 29, 2010

Abstract

This Note addresses the definition of family in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The INA assumes a traditional view of the family, in which all parental roles lie with only two individuals. This assumption creates substantial problems when applied to non-traditional families in which parental roles may be split between many people. This Note proposes the adoption of a unified definition of family that is based on interpersonal, rather than biological, relationships. The proposed solution is consistent with existing provisions of the INA, is consistent with state family law, and provides an effective way of dealing with non-traditional families.

Keywords: Immigration, Citizenship, Family Law, Non-Traditional Families

Suggested Citation

Degtyareva, Victoria, Defining Family in Immigration Law: Accounting for Non-Traditional Families in Citizenship by Descent (June 29, 2010). Yale Law Journal, Vol. 120, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1632666

Victoria Degtyareva (Contact Author)

Yale University - Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States

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