Who is a member of the political community? What barriers to inclusion do immigrants face as outsiders to this political community? This article describes several barriers facing immigrants that impede their political belonging. It critiques these barriers not on the basis of immigrants’ rights but based on their rights as current and future members of the political community. This is the second of two Essays. The first Essay focused on voting restrictions impacting Asian American and Latino voters. The second Essay focuses on challenges to including immigrants, Asian Americans, and Latinos in the 2020 Census. Together, the Essays critique the exclusion of immigrants from the political community because this exclusion compromises representational equality.
Ming Hsu Chen
This Note reinterprets and recontextualizes the pronouncement in Employment Division v. Smith (Smith II) that exemptions from generally applicable laws will not be granted unless claims of free exercise are accompanied by the assertion of another constitutional right. It argues that when Arab American Muslims, and others who are of minority race and religion, bring claims for exemption from generally applicable laws on the basis of free exercise and equal protection principles, they ought to be able to invoke Smith II‘s hybridity exception, thus meriting heightened judicial scrutiny and increased solicitude from courts.