Monday, January 14, 2008

Immigration Law Enforcement vs. Private Property Rights

I've posted before on the intersection between immigration law and property law.  It is an important yet overlooked relationship that has interested me for some time and one that I have been focusing on as of late.   

The New York Times recently ran an interesting story that further explored this convergence.  In particular, several homeowners have protested the federal government's proposal to build a fence at the border between the U.S. and Mexico.  Some have complained that the fence would separate parts of their land, cut off their access to the Rio Grande for livestock and crops and take away access to water. Others have refused to allow the federal government from conducting surveys of their land (because they won't get compensated) while there are those who worry that their properties, which will only be partly fenced, would provide new access to migrants who want to violate immigration law.

Here's the link to the full story.

Regardless of where one stands on the building of this new fence (or "the wall" to many South Texans) in particular or heightened immigration law enforcement more generally, there is no doubt that immigration law enforcement has raised complicated questions and issues that concern property rights.

One troubling effect of the broad authority of immigration law enforcement, as also reported by the New York Times, is the federal government's power to go to a person's home without a warrant. Click here for the story.

Rose Cuison Villazor

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