'Impossible Families': Mixed‐Citizenship Status Couples and the Law

26 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2015

See all articles by Jane Lilly López

Jane Lilly López

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Date Written: January-April 2015


This article explores the complex and contradictory relationship between citizenship in the law and the immigrant reality of mixed‐citizenship family life through in‐depth interviews with individuals in mixed‐citizenship marriages. An examination of mixed‐citizenship marriage exposes the inadequacies of approaching citizenship as an individual‐centered concept. The data indicate that, though both immigration and citizenship laws focus on the individual, the repercussions of those laws have family‐level effects. Because of their spouses' immigrant status, many citizens are obliged by the law to live the immigrant experience in their own country or to become immigrants themselves.

Suggested Citation

López, Jane Lilly, 'Impossible Families': Mixed‐Citizenship Status Couples and the Law (January-April 2015). Law & Policy, Vol. 37, Issue 1-2, pp. 93-118, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2581265 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/lapo.12032

Jane Lilly López (Contact Author)

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Mail Code 0502
La Jolla, CA 92093-0112
United States

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