Volume 91 - No. 6 Minnesota Law Review

Immigration Law and the Regulation of Marriage

This Article argues that much of federal immigration law functions as a form of family law. Although conventional wisdom holds that family law is state law, federal immigration law actually regulates marriages that involve immigrants much more extensively than state family law does, and often unintentionally. This Article maps the architecture of federal immigration regulation through the four stages of marriage: courtship, entry into marriage, the intact marriage, and exit from marriage through divorce. It shows how laws, which appear at first glance to effectuate immigration policy, regulate the creation and dissolution of legally recognized family relations, determine the legal rights and responsibilities of family members, and therefore function as family law.  These laws include immigration provisions of the Violence Against Women Act, the requirement for citizen spouses to sign an affidavit of support in order to sponsor their immigrant spouses, and immigration laws prohibiting marriage fraud. This Article concludes by offering ways to analyze whether Congress is acting within its immigration power when it passes such laws.

:: View PDF

De Novo

  • Dan’s Flaw

    DAN’S [F]LAW: STATUTORY FAILURE TO ENFORCE ETHICAL BEHAVIOR IN CLINICAL DRUG TRIALS Noah Lewellen* I. INTRODUCTION Paul, a sophomore at the University of Minnesota, bursts into a lecture hall, loudly claims to see monsters sitting in the seats, and offers his services in slaying them. The police are called, and Paul is restrained and delivered […]

  • Case Comment: Bhogaita v. Altamonte

    EVERY DOG CAN HAVE HIS DAY IN COURT: THE USE OF ANIMALS AS DEMONSTRATIVE EXHIBITS Kyle R. Kroll, Volume 100, Online Managing Editor In Bhogaita v. Altamonte, the Eleventh Circuit recently decided whether to allow a dog in the courtroom as a demonstrative exhibit.[1] Although the case presented many serious issues regarding the Fair Housing […]

  • Revisiting Water Bankruptcy

    REVISITING WATER BANKRUPTCY IN CALIFORNIA’S FOURTH YEAR OF DROUGHT Olivia Moe, Volume 100, Managing Editor This spring, as “extreme” to “exceptional” drought stretched across most of California—indicating that a four-year streak of drought was not about to resolve itself[1]—Governor Jerry Brown issued an unprecedented order to reduce potable urban water usage by twenty-five percent.[2] In […]