law and immigration

Immigration is an issue that has been a significant part of American history since the country’s inception. The first immigration law was enacted shortly after the Constitution was signed. And immigration is featured prominently in the Constitution, where it was established as an Article I congressional power. These facts highlight the importance of immigration in our social and legal systems.

Your goal in the Discussion this week is to assess the long-term impact of the court’s decisions in landmark immigration cases such as these on the cultural aspects of American society.

To prepare for this Discussion:

After reviewing the articles and cases for this week, consider the role of immigrants in American society and how their legal status has changed dramatically over time.

Start by considering their role prior to the Chy Lung v. Freeman case, which you will be learn about from the Fandl article, “Taxing Migrants: A Smart and Humane Approach to Immigration Policy.” What did the court do for immigrants in the Chy Lung case? And how did this change the already diverse makeup of American society?

With these thoughts in mind:

Provide a brief description of the status of immigrants prior to and following the Chy Lung v. Freeman case, referencing where possible the role of the Fourteenth Amendment. Then, select an immigration decision from your readings this week, and provide a brief assessment of how the case has changed the cultural makeup of American society.

Support your response using the Learning Resources and other scholarly resources.


  • Fandl, K. J. (2014). Taxing migrants: A smart and humane approach to immigration policy. Northwestern Interdisciplinary Law Review, 7, 127–170. Retrieved from
  • Fandl, K. J. (2015). Putting states out of the immigration law enforcement business. Harvard Law & Policy Review, 9(2), 1–26. Retrieved from


  • Chy Lung v. Freeman, 92 U.S. 275 (1875).
  • Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982).
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