In spite of some protestations to the contrary, some of the practices that the United States immigration law permits are punitive. They are, moreover, terribly severe. If American citizens were to be treated in the ways in which some noncitizens are treated in the United States, they would be victims of cruel and unusual punishment. The paper seeks to show the implausibility of the euphemistic maneuvers that seek to deny this fact, by appealing to arguments put forth by the United States Supreme Court. In particular, the paper argues that the reasons why the United States Supreme Court considers expatriation to be cruel and unusual punishment apply as well to some instances of deportation.
- ©© 2008 by the Regents of the University of California