Demanding Identity Papers
32 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2016 Last revised: 1 Apr 2016
Date Written: December 9, 2015
Language in the Immigration and Nationality Act appears to make it a crime if a non-citizen, present in this country, fails to carry government-issued immigration documents on his person at all times. The resulting body of law, though, is deeply incoherent; it assumes an administrative process that has not existed for many decades. Analysis of the provisions’ history and context supports the conclusion that they should not be read to impose obligations on persons who have entered the U.S. without authorization.
Keywords: alien registration, green card, McCarran-Walter, identity papers
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