The above discussion reveals that the entitlement of immigrants to rights in this country has never been a clear-cut issue. Whether immigrants are entitled to rights has always depended on what right is at issue, and where the immigrant stands in the hierarchy of migrants. From the beginning, courts considered some rights to be rights of personhood belonging to everyone. Other rights were associated with membership, and courts have been more likely to afford these to immigrants who were perceived to be members.
Assistant Professor, Valparaiso University Law School.