Polymmigration: Immigration Implications and Possibilities Post Brown v. Buhman

In recent years polygamy has taken center stage on prime-time television and in the nation’s courts. After the Supreme Court’s reexamination of marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges, polygamy was thought to be the next major issue the Court hears regarding the structure and purpose of marriage and family. The Sister Wives case, Brown v. Buhman, may have a broader effect on U.S. policies and laws than merely in the realm of marriage and cohabitation. In fact, it may be a gateway to offering other benefits, such as immigration benefits, to polygamist families. The rationale of Brown challenges the longstanding bars against polygamous immigrants. While the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Brown on mootness grounds, subsequent appeals or challenges to anti-polygamy laws could be the beginning of a reexamination of policy and law that can better address the realities of immigration in the globalized age.