Citizenship Is Not the Only Goal: Reform Should Bring an End to Mass Deportations
Georgetown Immigration Law Journal, Vol. 27, No. 3, p.485, 2013
33 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2013 Last revised: 24 Mar 2014
Date Written: February 26, 2013
Current “comprehensive immigration reform” proposals would regularize the status of some undocumented immigrants, and provide a path to citizenship. Those would be important reforms, if less than comprehensive. Discussions of immigration reform have not yet adequately addressed the human rights crisis caused by a program of mass deportation of “unlawful” aliens, a program in which state agencies have been enlisted, and that threatens millions of foreign-born Americans. The current mass deportation is ordered by recent federal statutes that require the “removal” from the United States of millions of Americans through procedures that deny them due process and the equal protection of the laws. This deportation program rests on a supposed extra-constitutional “plenary power” of the political branches over the foreign-born, who are deemed to remain essentially foreign, and whose presence in the United States is treated as an ongoing crime, at best a revocable license. None of the current proposals for immigration reform address this deportation program, and a bipartisan proposal threatens to add still more draconian provisions, which will continue to threaten even those who are given a path to citizenship.
Keywords: racial profiling, safe communities, deportation power, immigration federalism, constitutional history
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