109 Iowa L. Rev. Online 27 (2023)



Eric Fish’s Article, Race, History, and Immigration Crimes, explores the racist motivation behind the original 1929 enactment of the two most common federal immigration crimes, entry without permission and reentry after deportation. This Response engages with Fish’s archival work unearthing this unsettling history and examines how his research has informed a series of legal challenges seeking to strike down the modern federal border crossing law as violating the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. Focusing on the district court decision in United States v. Carrillo-Lopez that struck down the reentry law, and the subsequent Ninth Circuit reversal, this Response explores three central and recurring questions in the immigration law field: (1) the legacy of plenary power; (2) the significance of the blurry boundary between immigration law and other areas of law, such as the criminal law; and (3) the thorny problem of when taint from a discriminatory predecessor law continues to infect a modern law. The resolution these three key debates is central not only to the constitutionality of the illegal entry and reentry laws, but also to other areas of law that shape the lives of immigrants in the United States.

Monday, October 9, 2023