Last updated on: 2/5/2009 | Author:

Gerald L. Neuman, JD, PhD Biography

J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign, and Comparative Law at Harvard Law School
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should the Government Allow a Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants?"

“The issue of illegal immigration is often oversimplified. There is no simple solution because there are many complex aspects to the problem. First, while stricter border enforcement could make it substantially harder for people to come unlawfully, large numbers will still come through, and many will remain for a long while. There’s also a great deal of complexity in the labor market economics of illegal migration. Who benefits? Who is hurt? What could we be doing to compensate those who are hurt because of the benefits that illegal migration creates for others? There are also particular moral dimensions. Some people come fleeing for their lives and nonetheless are treated as illegals. Children who come involuntarily never made the choice. In terms of the equities, different segments of the illegal population have different strengths of claims and different calls on our sympathy. Any program for offering the opportunity for legalization to some illegal immigrants would have to contemplate that migrants offer a variety of claims or grounds for eventual admission to citizenship, and yet any program or criteria we choose could be workable only by employing some arbitrary line-drawing of the sort required by mass adjudication. We have hard choices to make about who will be given a path to citizenship.”

“Ask the Professor,” Harvard Law Bulletin, Fall 2006

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • J. Sinclair Armstrong Professor of International, Foreign, and Comparative Law, Harvard Law School, 2006-present
  • Visiting Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, 2005-2006
  • Professor, Federal Jurisprudence, Columbia Law School
  • PhD, Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1977
  • JD, Harvard Law School, 1980
  • AB, Mathematics, Harvard College, 1973
  • None found