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Immigration Law and the U.S.-Mexico Border

2 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2011 Last revised: 7 Sep 2011

Bernard Trujillo

Valparaiso University Law School

Kevin R. Johnson

University of California, Davis - School of Law

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Date Written: August 18, 2011


Americans from radically different political persuasions agree on the need to “fix” the “broken” U.S. immigration laws to address serious deficiencies and improve border enforcement. In “Immigration Law and the U.S.-Mexico Border,” Kevin Johnson and Bernard Trujillo focus on what, for many, is at the core of the entire immigration debate in modern America: immigration from Mexico.

Johnson and Trujillo explore the long history of discrimination against U.S. citizens of Mexican ancestry in the United States and the current movement against “illegal aliens” — persons depicted as not deserving fair treatment by U.S. law. The authors argue that the United States has a special relationship with Mexico by virtue of sharing a 2,000-mile border and a “land-grab of epic proportions” when the United States “acquired” nearly two-thirds of Mexican territory between 1836 and 1853.

The authors explain U.S. immigration law and policy in its many aspects — including the migration of labor, the place of state and local regulation over immigration, and the contributions of Mexican immigrants to the U.S. economy. Their objective is to help thinking citizens on both sides of the border sort through an issue with a long, emotional history that will undoubtedly continue to inflame politics until cooler, and better-informed, heads can prevail. The authors conclude by outlining possibilities for the future, sketching a possible movement to promote social justice.

Keywords: immigration, Mexico, border, illegal aliens, immigration law and policy

Suggested Citation

Trujillo, Bernard and Johnson, Kevin R., Immigration Law and the U.S.-Mexico Border (August 18, 2011). University of Arizona Press, Forthcoming; Valparaiso University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-13; UC Davis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 260. Available at SSRN:

Bernard Trujillo (Contact Author)

Valparaiso University Law School ( email )

656 S. Greenwich St.
Valparaiso, IN 46383-6493
United States

Kevin Johnson

University of California, Davis - School of Law ( email )

Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall
400 Mrak Hall Drive
Davis, CA 95616-5201
United States
530 752 0243 (Phone)
530 752 7279 (Fax)

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