Devolution and Discrimination

10 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2016

See all articles by Victor C. Romero

Victor C. Romero

The Pennsylvania State University (University Park) – Penn State Law

Date Written: 2003


This essay explores the issue of whether discrimination against two historically disadvantaged groups - racial minorities, on the one hand, and gays and lesbians, on the other - might increase or decrease should the federal immigration power devolve to the individual states. I conclude that while the lack of uniformity that accompanies immigration law devolution might lead to undesirable results in welfare reform and criminal law enforcement, and would likely not stem the tide of racism, it might lead to the opening of opportunities for gay Americans to petition their binational partners for immigration benefits. Such a development would turn the state of Vermont into a solitary haven for binational same-gender unions, thereby improving upon the federal immigration code's desire to keep families together by extending the breadth of its reach to include others usually excluded. Devolution in that case would lead to more protection for immigrants than what is currently available under the status quo.

Suggested Citation

Romero, Victor C., Devolution and Discrimination (2003). NYU Annual Survey of American Law, Vol. 58, No. 377, 2003, Penn State Law Research Paper, Available at SSRN:

Victor C. Romero (Contact Author)

The Pennsylvania State University (University Park) – Penn State Law ( email )

Lewis Katz Building
University Park, PA 16802
United States

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