Sunday, January 5, 2014
A 1975 state-wide law in Texas made it legal for school districts to bar students from public schools if they were in the country illegally, thus making it extremely difficult or even possible for scores of children to receive an education. The resulting landmark Supreme Court case, Plyler v. Doe (1982), established the constitutional right of children to attend public elementary and secondary schools regardless of legal status and changed how the nation approached the conversation about immigration outside the law.
Today, as the United States takes steps towards immigration policy reform, Americans are subjected to polarized debates on what the country should do with its "illegal" or "undocumented" population. In Immigration Outside the Law, acclaimed immigration law expert Hiroshi Motomura takes a neutral, legally-accurate approach in his attention and responses to the questions surrounding those whom he calls "unauthorized migrants." In a reasoned and careful discussion, he seeks to explain why unlawful immigration is such a contentious debate in the United States and to offer suggestions for what should be done about it. He looks at ways in which unauthorized immigrants are becoming part of American society and why it is critical to pave the way for this integration.
In the final section of the book, Motomura focuses on practical and politically viable solutions to the problem in three public policy areas: international economic development, domestic economic policy, and educational policy. Amidst the extreme opinions voiced daily in the media, Motomura explains the complicated topic of immigration outside the law in an understandable and refreshingly objective way for students and scholars studying immigration law, policy-makers looking for informed opinions, and any American developing an opinion on this contentious issue.