Immigration and Human Rights Law Review


This paper will argue that beginning with President Reagan the adoption of unitary theory as a central tenet in presidential administrations created a now ongoing consolidation of executive regulatory authority. This consolidation of power has considerably accelerated over the course of the last four decades. As Courts continue to defer to the executive in decisions made within the broad grants of power delegated by Congress, the relevance of the legislative body dwindles. The checks on executive assumption of power have largely been removed. The wall between the executive and the administrative have crumbled, and what were once considered unofficially separate branches are merging. This convergence of both the power to enforce and create the laws has no other outcome but to create significant questions of power allocation and constitutionality in immigration law and beyond. This idea will be explored through the historical evolution of United States immigration law, the executive’s expansions of power, and the gradual rise of the modern American administrative state.