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Are foreign nationals entitled only to reduced rights and freedoms? The difficulty of the question is reflected in the deeply ambivalent approach of the Supreme Court, an ambivalence matched only by the alternately xenophobic and xenophilic attitude of the American public toward immigrants. On the one hand, the Court has insisted for more than a century that foreign nationals living among us are "persons" within the meaning of the Constitution, and are protected by those rights that the Constitution does not expressly reserve to citizens. Because the Constitution expressly limits to citizens only the rights to vote and to run for federal elective office, equality between non-nationals and citizens would appear to be the constitutional rule.

Publication Citation

25 T. Jefferson L. Rev. 367-388 (2003)