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Immigration Law
SUNY Buffalo Law School
Miller, Teresa A.

Immigration Law
Professor Giovanna Macri – Immigration Litigation, Detention Work, 2nd Circuit
Professor Teri Miller – Intersection of Immigration Law/Criminal Law
September 7, 2006
Note: Court Observation – Due Before Final
The History of U.S. Immigration
·        Immigration laws are not developed in a vacuum – they are developed in their historical, societal, political, economic, and international contexts; world wars, great depressions, terrorism, etc.
o       Immigration laws respond to these different contexts!
·        Tensions:
o       We have the “golden gates” yet the new “Adam’s and Eve’s” to this new “American Eden” bring unwanted “baggage” – disease, different cultures and customs, etc.
o       Favoritism which immigration can bring versus scapegoating
o       There is a cycle of nativism versus open immigration.
§        Recent NPR news report played re: effort in Suffolk County to criminalize the hiring of illegal aliens.
§        Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
·        Were no longer welcome as railroad work dried up and the West experienced an economic depression. Shortage of work for USC’s.
§        The cycle continues today – See Backlash against Hispanic aliens in the West/Southwest.
·        English only legal efforts.
·        Proposition 87 – No public services/benefits for illegal aliens.
·        In AZ, the governor declared a state of emergency with respect to illegal immigration.
·        Minuteman Project – Civilian group organized to patrol borders. Arose out of fear of terrorism (across the southern border)
·        U.S. Border Patrol Increased on the Southern Border (99 mile jurisdiction)
o       Not just in the West either – here as well:
§        Route 87 CBP stops
§        Boarding Amtrak trains, Greyhound buses
·        Expedited Removal
·        The Evolution of an Open Society
o       Very Open Policy early in American History.
o       1783 – Treaty of Paris
§        U.S. wins its independence
§        Desire to keep out unwanted foreign influence
o       1790 (Act of) – Congress begins to regulate naturalization (2 years & renunciation)
o       1795 (Act of) – 5 years & renunciation of both prior citizensh

       Modern – Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)
§        Catholic churches were being burned…
§        1850’s – Good Economic Period – More favorable toward immigration
o       1857 – Dred Scott Decision
§        No Negroes, not even free Negroes, could ever become citizens of the United States. They were “beings of an inferior order” not included in the phrase “all men” in the Declaration of Independence nor afforded any rights by the United States Constitution.
o       1860 – 1880 – As demand for labor increased, so too did the number of immigrants – approx. 2.5 million Europeans entered each decade. During the 1880’s, the number more than doubled to 5.25 million.
1866 – Civil Rights Act of 1866 – The act declared that all persons born in the United States were now citizens, without regard to race, color, or previous condition, excluding Indians not taxed.