Letting in your future rulers, the plenary power doctrine,
and ideological restrictions on immigration
hendersl at ix.netcom.com
Sun Feb 19 11:47:54 PST 2006
Wasn't Eugene's point also the argument against allowing Japanese
immigrants to become naturalized citizens? That they were just "too
different" and shouldn't be allowed to vote, because "they" didn't
share "our" values? Indeed, doesn't some of this thinking underlie
"quotas" on immigrants even today?
I agree, how far do we push this without lapsing into bigotry and
On Feb 19, 2006, at 8:20 AM, Alex Aleinikoff wrote:
> Concerns about "future co-rulers" go back a long way in US history.
> Catholic immigration in the 19th century was opposed on "anti-Papist"
> grounds: the argument was that immigrants who became citizens would
> be more loyal to the Pope than to American notions of democracy.
> Claims that non-citizens were not ready for American political
> institutions and traditions confronted southern and eastern European
> immigrants and were also used to argue that the Constitution didn't
> "follow the flag" in the Insular Cases.
> Birthright citizenship in the US means that non-citizens make citizens
> (co-rulers, when they reach the age of 18)--not the usual way that
> clubs, associations or communities (or law faculties) make membership
> decisions, but a membership rule that does not seem to have disserved
> the nation. How far would Eugene press his point?
> Alex Aleinikoff
> Volokh, Eugene wrote:
>> Unless I'm mistaken, many scholars have criticized the plenary
>> power doctrine in immigration law. As I understand it, their
>> -- and I think there is much to these arguments -- are that otherwise
>> impermissible discrimination based on race, national origin, ideology,
>> religion, and the like should be no more permissible in immigration
>> decisions, including decisions about whom to let into the country (or
>> whom to give permanent resident status or citizenship to), than they
>> in other government decisions.
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