Document Type



Black immigrants are invisible at the intersection of their race and immigration status. Until recently, conversations on border security, unlawful immigration, and national security obscured racially motivated laws seeking to halt the blackening and browning of America. This Article engages with the impact of immigration enforcement at the intersection of anti-Black racism and interrogates how foundational immigration laws that exist outside constitutional norms have rendered Black immigrants invisible. At this intersection, Black immigrants experience a double bind where enforcement of immigration laws and the criminal legal system have a disparate impact resulting in disproportionate incarceration and deportation.

First, the Article examines how the foundational immigration laws—limiting citizenship to white males—and the failure of immigration enforcement to adhere to constitutional norms reinforce racial hierarchies. Part II of the Article examines how anti-Black racism and lack of constitutional protections within the immigration system lead to disproportionate immigration enforcement against Black immigrants. This part also details how the legislative reforms of 1996, coupled with different executive enforcement policies, have had a disproportionate impact on the deportation of Black immigrants. Third, in line with the goal of the Georgia State University Law Review’s 2021 Symposium—examining solutions—the Article examines the concept of transformational solidarity as a method to address the failure of immigration laws to adhere to constitutional norms, creating the need for reform. The intersections between how both the grassroots abolition movements within criminal and immigration law enforcement—“defunding the police” with “abolishing ICE”—provide a starting point for addressing the disproportionate impact of immigration laws and enforcement policies on Black immigrants.