Date of Award


Document Type


First Advisor

Smita Rahman

Second Advisor

Jeremy Anderson

Third Advisor

Deepa Prakash


This paper will begin with the first chapter by detailing the foundation of policies the American government built up in order to create the immigration system. The policies centralized around being acts of exclusion in an attempt to keep those the government deemed good enough out. There will be details on the last major immigration reform law and explanations as to what factors and events have played into creating the American Immigration system today. The second chapter will delve deeper into more modern immigration policies by focusing on recent presidential administrations that have attempted and failed to make a productive impact on the American immigration system. Starting with an explanation of the multiple forms family separation can and has taken shape through actions of these administrations. The chapter will highlight the Obama, Trump and Biden administration and discuss each of the administration's policy issues and how they have contributed to the separation and deportation of families. This section will also point out the clear inability of the American government to function properly and pass a comprehensive immigration reform. The final chapter will discuss how the act of family separation is severely unethical and has caused severe harm to human beings. Overall this paper will demonstrate that the American government has continued to fall back on family separation and detentions as a solution for their failure to assess the immigration crisis and create meaningful and effective immigration policies.