Domestic Boundaries: Marriage and Immigration Law in U.S. History

Award Year: 
2016
Project Director(s): 

Julian Lim, Assistant Professor of History, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies

Although many regard the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 as the first law that emphasized marriage and family reunification priorities in immigration, this project demonstrates that marriage has always played a pivotal yet overlooked role in the formation of American immigration policy. It highlights the various historical actors - men and women, state agents and civilians, citizens and immigrants - who negotiated ideas about and performance of marriage at our nation's borders. The project ultimately shows how the intersection of marriage and immigration law has shaped national identity and defined the parameters of citizenship and belonging in the U.S. today. 

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