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dc.contributor.authorLeff, Laurel
dc.date.accessioned2024-01-17T15:51:04Z
dc.date.available2024-01-17T15:51:04Z
dc.date.issued2023
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.13051/18378
dc.descriptionVol. 34:2en_US
dc.description.abstractDuring the Nazi era, the United States could have remained within overall and country-by-country quotas limiting immigration and still have admitted an additional 350,000 refugees from Germany and Germanoccupied or -allied countries. Instead, the State Department, whose consular officers abroad decided whether visas were to be issued, denied them to hundreds of thousands seeking refuge between 1933 and 1945. Largely untethered by judicial or public oversight, consular officials deployed their discretion in a way that produced direct and often deadly consequences for the mostly Jewish refugees. This episode has been largely overlooked in histories of administrative or immigration law, and minimized in historical accounts focused upon congressional intransigence and presidential acquiescence in failing to change the statutory scheme. Its meaning has been lost in the gap between disciplines. This article seeks to bridge the divide by showing how State Department officials used the discretion afforded them under the immigration statute and through judicial decisions to implement an anti-foreign, antisemitic policy. Understanding the multiplicity of decisions officials faced gives lie to the oft-repeated refrain that the law in the form of an impenetrable statute dictated the result. Reviewing the history also demonstrates the power of the “law made me do it” claim, as it persists decade after decade, despite overwhelming evidence that “the law” did no such thing. This tragic case study ultimately illuminates the need for historians to develop a better understanding of law, and for legal scholars to gain a better understanding of history.en_US
dc.publisherYale Journal of Law & the Humanitiesen_US
dc.subjectLaw; Humanities; Refugees; US State Department; World War II;en_US
dc.title“Death by Bureaucracy”: How the U.S. State Department Used Administrative Discretion to Bar Refugees from Nazi Europeen_US
rioxxterms.versionNAen_US
rioxxterms.typeJournal Article/Reviewen_US
refterms.dateFOA2024-01-17T15:51:05Z
refterms.dateFirstOnline2023


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