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Immigration Cases That Stand Out In Modern Law

by Stacy Dean

Immigration law has been a hot subject in the US for a few years, and is always a touchy subject during economic hard times within the country. Regardless of the reason, there are certain legal situations that garner more attention and lead to decisions that shape how immigration law should be applied in similar cases. Here are a few important immigration law cases to understand how certain decisions play out in court.

Vance v. Terrazas

Laurence Terrazas was born in the United States in 1947 to an American mother and a Mexican father. When attending a Mexican Univesity, Terrazas also applied for a Mexican nationality certificate and filled out an application that required him to renounce his U.S. citizenship.

When interviewed by a U.S. consular officer, Terrazas did not clearly verify whether he intended to give up his citizenship or not. This situation opened up a debate about intent, whether Terrazas knew what he was doing when signing the paperwork, and the legality of such documents.

The requirements for expatriation were not clear at the time, and the questions in this case were instrumental in building a more stable set of legal guidance. The Court's decision was that congress could establish the standard, and that lower courts would decide the legality of citizenship and expatriation according to that standard.

Fiallo v. Bell

This decision stated that Congress could deliver special immigration status to legitimate children and their parents as well as illegitimate parents and their mothers, while at the same time excluding illegitimate children and their fathers.

In the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, section 101(b)(1)(D), special immigration status an be granted to aliens who qualify as the "parent" or "child" of a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident.

The statute defines "parent" as the legitimate mother or father or the illegitimate mother of a U.S. citizen child, notable excluding an illegitimate father. With this special designation, a foreign parent is eligible for entry without regard to "numerical quota or labor certification" and a lawful permanent resident subject to the same.

The Court put the power to define this policy in the hands of Congress, stating that it was a political issue. By this decision, Congress has the authority to exercise relaxed or more strict control over parental immigration, and getting relief in such situations would usually require legitimate marriage or a petition to Congress.

There may be exceptions to different decisions depending on interpretation of law, or other options that may not be obvious from those specific decisions. Contact an immigration lawyer to figure out if there may be another way through your specific legal issue. For more information, contact companies like Law Offices of Michael Dye.