Professor Marisa S. Cianciarulo’s article “Unauthorized Americans and European Outcasts” was published in the
Georgetown Immigration Law Journal
(Volume 27, No. 3, Spring 2013).
“Unauthorized Americans and European Outcasts compares the relative ease of integration in the United States to the integration struggles faced by citizens of Britain, France, and Germany who are not ethnically European. Undocumented immigrants who arrive in the United States as children attend school and develop civic and cultural ties to the United States that are similar to those developed by their citizen and legally present counterparts. In contrast, descendants of non-European immigrants to Britain, France, and Germany tend to exhibit symptoms of non-integration and marginalization despite the fact that they are citizens of those countries. This article posits that the United States’ cultural barriers to integration are much less significant than those in Europe, and that any integration challenges faced by U.S. immigrants are a result of manufactured legal barriers rather than endemic cultural barriers. Based on that theory, the article predicts that by proliferating legal barriers to integration (i.e., by not providing a path to legalization to generations of undocumented immigrants with long-term residence in the United States), the United States is poised to generate and/or increase insurmountable cultural barriers. As the undocumented population grows, and new generations of undocumented immigrants arrive, the cultural divide between U.S. citizens and legal residents on the one hand, and undocumented immigrants on the other hand, grows wider and deeper. With the undocumented population growing or holding steady at approximately 11 million, the United States is observing a growing community of marginalized, disenfranchised immigrants with decreasing motivation to avail themselves of the cultural integration that the United States offers. The article ultimately concludes that the United States’ failure to pass legislation to legalize the undocumented population may lead to the unfortunate consequences of marginalization that European countries have suffered.”
Professor Marisa S. Cianciarulo
is the Director of the
Bette and Wylie Aitken Family Violence Clinic
, which she launched in 2007, and professor of law at Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law. She teaches Civil Procedure, Refugee Law and Gender and the Law. Professor Cianciarulo is a specialist in clinical teaching and immigration law with a human rights focus.