Monday, November 13, 2017
Immigration Article of the Day: Equality, Sovereignty, and the Family in Morales-Santana by Kristin A. Collns
Comment by Kristin A. Collins, Harvard Law Review (Supreme Court Issue, November 2017)
In Sessions v. Morales-Santana, the Supreme Court held that the provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act that allows unwed U.S.-citizen mothers — but not U.S.-citizen fathers — to transfer citizenship violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Professor Collins argues that while the opinion develops a progressive vision of gender equality for the non-marital family, it levels-down by not providing unmarried fathers and their children the benefit of the more generous standard afforded to mothers in the citizenship statute. This remedy, Collins argues, demands clarification as it may leave the particular statute at issue undisturbed, and other illiberal forces that shaped the statute at its conception unexamined.