Would It Violate Equal Protection to Prohibit Naturalized "Dreamers" from Sponsoring Their Parents for Immigrant Visas? [February 12, 2018]   [open pdf - 373KB]

"Much of the recent immigration reform debate has focused on legislative options to address the situation of non-U.S. nationals (aliens) who were brought to the country as children and who do not have lawful immigration status. Such aliens are colloquially referred to as 'Dreamers' by many observers because they are largely the same population that the various Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) bills introduced over the years have sought to address. [...] This policy debate about Dreamers' parents has given rise to a fundamental legal question: does Congress have the constitutional authority to craft a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers that includes unique restrictions on family sponsorship? Suppose, for instance, that Congress enacts a statute that (i) grants Dreamers a pathway to citizenship, but (ii) restricts Dreamers' ability, after they naturalize, to sponsor their parents for immigrant visas. Would this parent-sponsorship restriction violate naturalized Dreamers' constitutional right to equal protection of the laws by drawing a line between them and other similarly situated U.S. citizens?"

Report Number:
CRS Legal Sidebar, LSB10075
Public Domain
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Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
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