Document Type


Publication Date



Washburn Law Journal






In this Essay, I seek to build upon existing scholarship relating to DACA and DAPA, by offering an alternate lens through which to examine the programs. Specifically, I argue that DACA and DAPA, by naming and entrenching the “significant misdemeanor” bar to eligibility, contribute to a concerning expansion of “crimmigration law.” To be sure, neither program exists in codified law; nevertheless, the eligibility bars under DACA and DAPA are poised to wreak doctrinal havoc by upending the way particular criminal conduct is treated in the U.S. immigration system. In some respects, the DACA and DAPA bars are more stringent than existing criminal removal grounds, while in other ways they are more lax. Moreover, the executive branch’s deployment, sua sponte, of a new crimmigration category, represents a notable change in how the branches of government have related to one another in enacting and enforcing crime-related provisions in immigration law. In this respect, DACA and DAPA offer insight into how the plenary immigration power is shared as between the political branches.



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