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

Marisa Silenzi Cianciarulo

Chapman University, The Dale E. Fowler School of Law

Date Written: September 15, 2009

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Cianciarulo, Marisa Silenzi, U.S. Immigration Law: Where Antiquated Views on Gender and Sexual Orientation Go to Die (September 15, 2009). Wayne Law Review, Vol. 55, No. 4, Winter 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1692781

Marisa Silenzi Cianciarulo (Contact Author)

Chapman University, The Dale E. Fowler School of Law ( email )

One University Drive
Orange, CA 92866-1099
United States
714 628 2612 (Phone)

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