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08/22/2013

Anna O. Law: Federal Immigration Policy Before the Civil War
Michael Ramsey

Anna O. Law (CUNY Brooklyn College) has posted What's the Constitution Got to Do with It? Federal Immigration Policy Before the Civil War  (APSA 2013 Annual Meeting Paper) on SSRN.  Here is the abstract:

In a federal system of government where separate levels of government share power, who, the national or state governments, controls immigration policy? In the 19th century before the Civil War, states almost exclusively ran immigration with the federal government relegated to naturalization and shipping policy. The text of the U.S. Constitution only accounted for a small part of that particular division of labor. Equally if not more determinative were the strong political cultural influence of the concept of salus populi or concern for the public interest over individual and commercial rights, and the Civil War that restructured the relationship between the national government and the states. In this time period, the allocation of power between the national and state governments was mostly determined by factors outside the U.S. Constitution and as this constellation of non-constitutional factors changed, so too did the power sharing agreements between levels of government.