LAW 332

Immigrants' Rights

Immigration Law

This course examines the rights (and responsibilities) of non-citizens.  Put differently, this course analyzes when and how questions of membership in U.S. society are complicated by immigration and citizenship status.  We will consider U.S. citizens, permanent residents of the United States, lawful non-immigrants, and migrants who come to this country outside the law.  We will look at topics such as public benefits, voting, identity documents, education, work, and health care.  Thus will emerge questions such as:  Should non-citizens be allowed to vote?  Are permanent residents eligible for welfare or public employment?  Do unauthorized migrants have employment law protections, access to public education and the professions, or driver licenses?  More generally, does the membership of non-citizens come from the U.S. Constitution or from statutes, and should it be analyzed from a civil rights or a human rights perspective, or some combination of these? And how does federalism play a role, as for example when state and local governments try to limit unauthorized migrants' access to housing or work, or try to shield unauthorized migrants from federal immigration enforcement?  We will also consider the citizen/non-citizen distinction in historical and comparative perspective, as part of the larger question of what it means to be "foreign."  Law 331 (Immigration Law) is not a prerequisite; the two courses complement each other with minimal overlap.

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