The Kafkaesque Experience of Immigrants with Mental Disabilities: Navigating the Inexplicable Shoals of Immigration Law
Law and literature comes in two forms: law as literature and law in literature, the latter referring to the exploration of legal issues in great literary texts. Law in literature scholars place a high value on the "independent" view of the literary writers as he or she sees the law. They believe that these authors have something to teach legal scholars and lawyers about the human condition. “The Trial” by Franz Kafka, concerns human beings caught up in social and political dilemmas. Kafka offers readers an insight to the nature of totalitarianism and forces us to ask hard questions about our system of justice: is it fair? Is it humane? Is it inevitable? This Note will focus primarily on the parallels between Kafka’s famous book, “The Trial”, and the experiences of immigrants with mental disabilities in American immigration courts. The six plaintiffs in an ongoing federal district court lawsuit against the United States, Gonzalez v. Holder, are individuals who suffer from mental disabilities that render them incompetent to defend themselves, and yet are nevertheless forced to do so without counsel in immigration proceedings. Just like Joseph K. who experiences prosecution in a bizarre world and attempts to prove his innocence, the Gonzalez Six, too, face prosecution in a bizarre world that has no place in American jurisprudence.
Aronson, Jennifer L., "The Kafkaesque Experience of Immigrants with Mental Disabilities: Navigating the Inexplicable Shoals of Immigration Law" (2012). College of Law - Student Research & Writing Projects. 1.