The Future Relief of Immigration Law

27 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2017

See all articles by Jill E. Family

Jill E. Family

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School

Date Written: September 28, 2017


Immigration law is in need of relief. Among the many problems affecting immigration law is the lack of respite from removal. The removal grounds — the characteristics and acts that render someone removable from the United States — are extremely broad and rigid. The only available penalty is removal. There is little proportionality in immigration law and qualifying for respite once one is determined to be removable is very difficult. This Article explores the lack of relief from removal in immigration law and shows how its stingy availability sheds light on other, broader problems afflicting immigration law. The current state of relief from removal helps to understand the conflicting signals of immigration law, the dysfunction of the immigration adjudication system, and the role of sovereignty in immigration law. This Article is a part of a symposium on the twentieth anniversary of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.

Keywords: immigration, sovereignty, relief, respite, illegal immigration reform and responsibility act, DAPA, DACA

JEL Classification: K00, K19, K39, K49

Suggested Citation

Family, Jill E., The Future Relief of Immigration Law (September 28, 2017). 9 Drexel L. Review 393; Widener Law Commonwealth Research Paper No. 17-08. Available at SSRN:

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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