Last updated on: 12/6/2007 | Author:

Owen Fiss, BPhil, LLB Biography

Sterling Professor at Yale Law School
Not Clearly Pro or Con to the question "Should the Government Allow a Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants?"

“[W]e have increasingly imposed disabilities on immigrants, mostly on illegal immigrants, but even on those who are lawfully present. In recent years the social disabilities have increased, and have taken three different forms: (a) bars on employment; (b) exclusions from public schools; and (c) denials of statutory entitlements, such as food stamps or medical services, routinely provided to the poor by the welfare state.

…The laws imposing social disabilities on immigrants do indeed seem at odds with the Constitution, but only because of the social stratification they tend to produce, not because they violate the antidiscrimination principle. The constitutional guarantee of equality bars not just discrimination, but also laws that create or perpetuate caste-like social structures, and for that reason calls into question the 1996 welfare act and similar measures.”

“The Immigrant as Pariah,” Boston Review, Oct./Nov. 1998

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • LSterling Professor at Yale Law School, 1992-present
  • Professor of Public Law, Yale University, 1982-1992
  • Professor of Law, Yale University, 1974-1982
  • Visiting Professor of Law, Stanford University, 1973
  • Professor of Law, University of Chicago, 1968-1974
  • Special Assistant, Office of the Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 1966-1968
  • Law Clerk to Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., Supreme Court of the United States, 1965-1966
  • Law Clerk to Judge Thurgood Marshall, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, 1964-1965
  • LLB, Harvard Law School, 1964
  • BPhil, Philosophy, Oxford University, 1961
  • BA, Dartmouth College, 1959
  • None found