The Morality of Law: The Case Against Deportation of Settled Immigrants

Chapter 6 in Closing the Rights Gap: From Human Rights to Social Transformation, edited by LaDawn Haglund and Robin Stryker, Forthcoming

20 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2014

See all articles by Doris Provine

Doris Provine

Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Social Transformation

Date Written: November 16, 2014

Abstract

Deportation of settled, but unauthorized immigrants offends a basic sense of fairness that citizens apply to each other in law and private life. Fairness in law includes both forgiveness and closure, which are found in ample measure in the domestic law governing crime and punishment, bankruptcy, property, and civil harms. Immigration law remains aloof from this aspect of the mainstream law by virtue of more than century- old court decisions that rest on frankly racist foundations. Those cases draw a thick line between immigrants and citizens based on race, without any constitutional foundation. A more contemporary framing would bring immigration law within mainstream legal principles, including principles of forgiveness and closure. Applied to the situation of settled, but unauthorized immigrants, the power to deport would be restrained by principles that are internal to the morality of law and in line with fundamental principles of human rights.

Keywords: human rights, closure, forgiveness principle, unauthorized immigrants, social justice, deportation, settled immigrants, Fong Yue Ting v. US, national sovereignty, belonging, race

Suggested Citation

Provine, Doris, The Morality of Law: The Case Against Deportation of Settled Immigrants (November 16, 2014). Chapter 6 in Closing the Rights Gap: From Human Rights to Social Transformation, edited by LaDawn Haglund and Robin Stryker, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2525071

Doris Provine (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Social Transformation ( email )

Tempe, AZ
United States

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