Unauthorized Americans and European Outcasts

35 Pages Posted: 24 May 2014 Last revised: 6 Aug 2015

See all articles by Marisa Silenzi Cianciarulo

Marisa Silenzi Cianciarulo

Chapman University, The Dale E. Fowler School of Law

Date Written: May 22, 2014


The United States is home to a generation of whom this Article refers to as “unauthorized Americans” - illegally present young adults who were brought or sent to the United States when they were children. These immigrants tend to demonstrate a high level of integration into mainstream U.S. society, but they cannot fully integrate or participate in U.S. society due to their undocumented status. Immigration reform is slow in coming and grudging in what it is willing to offer. In the event that it is not forthcoming or that it occurs too late for thousands of young adults, what is the result? What happens to a generation of U.S.-educated, fully integrated Americans who are not actually Americans? What message does it send to the next generation of children brought to the United States by their parents, encouraged to do well in school, and exposed to a culture that consumes and envelops them and then rejects them once they are adults?

This Article looks to Europe as one potential source of answers to that question. This Article explores the integration challenges of British, French, and German citizens of ethnically diverse descent and of undocumented immigrants in the United States who have been raised in the United States since childhood. The Article compares European obstacles to integration, which are primarily cultural, to U.S. obstacles to integration, which are primarily legal. The Article argues that by failing to remove legal barriers to full integration, the United States is poised to have cultural barriers to integration develop and proliferate that are more difficult to correct than legal barriers.

Keywords: immigration

JEL Classification: F22

Suggested Citation

Cianciarulo, Marisa Silenzi, Unauthorized Americans and European Outcasts (May 22, 2014). Georgetown Immigration Law Review, Vol. 27, 2013, Chapman University, Fowler Law Research Paper No. 14-6, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2440801

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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