Emory International Law Review


Much has been written about the 'DREAMers' (Dreamers) and their moral claim to a right to remain in the United States and the legal mechanisms by which such a moral right might be realized. What has not been explored is whether their removal from the United States might implicate international law, and, specifically, whether it would constitute a crime against humanity. On its face, it seems to be an outrageous claim: that deporting non-citizens from a state would be a criminal act. International law protects a State's ability to remove unlawfully present aliens. This is not in debate. The argument is, however, far narrower. Specifically, the forcible, arbitrary deportation of Dreamers with an intent to permanently remove them from their residence, which is protected under international law, would be criminal.