Migrants in the United States experience varying degrees of harm related to family separation. This article focuses on the economic dimensions of these harms by focusing on transnational remittances, a topic that has generated significant scholarly attention. Within this story, remitters are pitched as heroes and remittances are held up as a critical, market-based solution for solving global poverty. Of course, this picture is incomplete. This account ignores remittance-sending countries and provides only a narrow account of law. This Article focuses on anti-money laundering policies, an important set of U.S. laws that regulate the remittance economy. Examining remittances from this perspective shows that anti-money laundering and antimigration policies form a joint project that regulates the relationship between migrants and their family members. While antimigration laws inhibit migrant mobility, anti-money laundering laws create uneven opportunities for transferring wage earnings to family members left behind on their journey. Recognizing the connection between these areas of the law leads to the Article's broader contribution: identifying different ways that the law exacerbates or mitigates the economic harms related to family separation. Specifically, anti-money laundering policies help structure the conditions in which migrants engage in expression of affinity across borders, thereby showing the intertwined nature of economic and physical harms within transnational families.
Stephen Lee, The Economic Dimensions of Family Separation, 71 Duke L.J. 845-906 (2021)
Available at: https://scholarship.law.duke.edu/dlj/vol71/iss4/2