DAPA and the Future of Immigration Law as Administrative Law

13 Pages Posted: 18 Feb 2016

See all articles by Jill E. Family

Jill E. Family

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School

Date Written: February 16, 2016


Immigration law is a type of administrative law, of course. In some ways, however, linking immigration law to administrative law is an awkward fit. As a branch of administrative law, immigration law is about the direct regulation of human beings. In immigration law, administrative law doctrines are applied to determine some of the most fundamental and basic human concerns: where an individual will live and work, and whether that individual will live with family or will be separated from a spouse and children. Also, while immigration law is a part of administrative law, at times the two can appear to be distant cousins. Because immigration law is so technical, requires dedicated study to gain expertise, and perhaps because it involves the regulation of people, immigration law can seem like it occupies its own island, cut-off from the administrative law mainland.

This Essay argues that the litigation over the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA”) initiative shows that immigration law experts can no longer afford to think of immigration law as in any way estranged from mainstream administrative law principles. Immigration lawyers and scholars must embrace administrative law as their own. This Essay will explore the DAPA litigation and explain that the future of immigration law is tied to the future of administrative law.

Keywords: Immigration Law, Administrative Law, Law Reform, Due Process, Adjudication, DAPA, Executive Power

JEL Classification: K00, K19, K39, K49

Suggested Citation

Family, Jill E., DAPA and the Future of Immigration Law as Administrative Law (February 16, 2016). Washburn Law Journal, Vol. 55, 2015, Widener Law Commonwealth Research Paper No. 15-34, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2733290

Jill E. Family (Contact Author)

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School ( email )

3800 Vartan Way
Harrisburg, PA 17110-9380
United States
717-541-3911 (Phone)

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