“[Y]ou know, being with your family, there is nothing that you can compare to anything in life. It’s just that warmness of the home, time with your loved ones . . . its something that you really can’t describe.”
These simple words, spoken by a Dominican man who was deported and separated from his family after living together in the United States for many years, reflect the profound role of family in society. The importance of family is recognized in many areas of United States domestic law, and has also been the cornerstone of United States immigration law. Internationally, the centrality and “value” of the family is acknowledged in various international treaties, conventions, and covenants. However, despite this reverential view of family embodied in both domestic and international law, nations across the world are engaging in and planning immigration practices that threaten that very unit.