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Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly

Abstract

United States citizens, who are children of aliens residing unlawfully in the country, are routinely deported with their parents. The courts, exercising an extreme deference to the decisions of the agency and to the acts of Congress in the area of immigration law, have abdicated their responsibilities in their role as guardians of the constitutional rights of these children. Although the courts have not granted children the same constitutional rights as those granted adults, cases involving de facto deportation of these children do not acknowledge the existence of even a procedural right of due process to protect the interest of these children. The unlimited disaction bestowed by the Immigration and Nationality Act on the Attorney General and his delegates, coupled with the traditional deference to the political branches of government applied by the courts, results in an empty notion of the American citizenship for these children. This Article identifies the constitutional rights that are violated and proposes solutions that will give meaning to the word "citizenship."

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