Monday, November 13, 2017

Grisinger on Collins, "Bureaucracy as the Border"

The JOTWELL Legal History Section has posted a few items since we last checked. The first, by Joanna Grisinger (Northwestern University), spotlights "Bureaucracy as the Border: Administrative Law and the Citizen Family," by Kristin A. Collins (Boston University). The article appeared in the Duke Law Journal this spring, as part of a symposium on "Inclusion, Exclusion, and the Administrative State."

Here's a taste of Grisinger's review:
Kristin A. Collins’s recent article ties together “two foundational ‘borders of belonging’ in American law: the rules that determine family membership and the rules that determine political membership.” (P. 1730.) More specifically, Collins, in a case study of the evolution of derivative citizenship, demonstrates how immigration administrators fashioned rules to guide their own decisionmaking in this area and embedded those rules in statutes and legal precedents. 
Collins pushes back against the all too common idea that immigration administration is more lawless and discretionary than regulation at the economic regulatory agencies that are the usual focus of scholarship on the administrative state. Instead, Collins observes immigration officials engaged in the same kind of “administrative constitutionalism” practiced by bureaucrats elsewhere.
Read on here.