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

Suggested Citation

Weinberg, Jonathan, Demanding Identity Papers (December 9, 2015). Washburn Law Journal, Vol. 55, No. 1, 2015; Wayne State University Law School Research Paper No. 2016-07. Available at SSRN:

Jonathan Weinberg (Contact Author)

Wayne State University Law School ( email )

471 Palmer
Detroit, MI 48202
United States
313-577-3942 (Phone)
313-577-2620 (Fax)


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