Filipino-American Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law says Current U.S. Immigration System is Broken

Victor C. Romero Maureen B. Cavanaugh Distinguished Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law

As a Filipino-American man, it is always frustrating to read articles or post that demoralize and stereotype the image of Filipino men. That is why I felt empowered this past year after learning about Filipino men like Dr. A Gabriel Esteban, Dr. E.J. R. David and J.J. Racaza who are representing the community. I wanted to share this article on immigration because it was one of the few I came across that featured a Filipino-American attorney and educator. Victor Romero (Penn State Dickinson School of Law) says the current U.S. immigration system is broken. Many states have created their own immigration laws, purportedly in accordance with federal policy, but these state laws cannot possibly capture the nuances of the federal system. If states create their own regimes, we may end up with a more complicated system than we have currently.

According to his article on JURIST, states and localities have increasingly sought to address immigrant issues to both fill the gap and prompt federal action. The National Conference of State Legislatures reports that the number of state laws and resolutions increased almost nine-fold from 39 in 2005 to 346 in 2010.

Given the high profile enjoyed by Arizona’s controversial criminal trespass law [pdf], many in the public assume that state and local government laws are uniformly anti-immigrant. While it is true that many of these initiatives are aimed at curbing irregular migration by limiting access to employment, driver’s licenses, and public benefits, many resolutions celebrate America’s ethnic diversity, supporting efforts to integrate new immigrants and refugees.

For more on this story, click here.

About Victor C. Romero: A native of the Philippines, Professor Romero teaches and writes in the area of immigrant and minority rights. Professor Romero joined the faculty in 1995 after working in private practice and as a law clerk to a federal judge in California. An elected member of the American Law Institute (ALI), Professor Romero is co-editor of the anthology, Immigration and the Constitution, and author of Alienated: Immigrant Rights, the Constitution, and Equality in America. In addition to his course in Immigration Law, Professor Romero teaches Constitutional Law I and II. Professor Romero has served as president of both the South Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the ACLU and the NAACP of the Greater Carlisle Area. He was also a visiting professor of law at Howard and at Rutgers-Camden. Most recently, Professor Romero served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in University Park during academic years 2006-07 and 2007-08.


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