U.S. Immigration Law: Where Antiquated Views on Gender and Sexual Orientation Go to Die
15 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2010 Last revised: 26 Oct 2010
Date Written: September 15, 2009
This Essay examines the paradoxical approaches to gender and sexual orientation bias within the U.S. immigration system. On the one hand, the immigration system has managed to convey benefits to same-sex partners despite federal law prohibiting the recognition of same-sex unions for immigration purposes. Immigration law also provides benefits for victims of crimes disproportionately committed against women, such as human trafficking and domestic violence, although the systems in place for adjudicating these benefits are flawed. On the other hand, immigration law favors antiquated notions of gender roles that disadvantage U.S. citizen men and their children, and has failed to recognize domestic violence as a basis for asylum. Gender inequality in U.S. immigration law has a long history. It has taken the form of blatant discrimination on the basis of sex as well as facially neutral laws and policies that have a disparate impact based on sex.
Keywords: Immigration, Federal Law, Bias, Sexual Orientation, Victims of Crimes, Women, Disparity, Domestic Violence
JEL Classification: J7, K40, R2, Z00, Z1,H00, I00
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