Tag Archives: immigrants

Follow up on Arizona S.B. 1070

You might remember the very controversial legislation against unauthorized aliens in Arizona.  Arizona Governor Jan Brewer was launched into the spotlight when she signed this bill.  The ruling of the 9th Circuit is important because it points to the exclusive control of the federal government of immigration.

In Valle Del Sol v. Whiting., No. 12-17152 (9th Cir. Oct. 8, 2013), the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that S.B. 1070 was void because it is vague and incomprehensible to a person of ordinary intelligence; and (2) it is preempted by federal law.

Setting aside the vagueness and incomprehensible nature of the law, the Court explained preemption.  The 9th Circuit focused on three main arguments: (1) federal government’s exclusive control over immigration policy; and (2) how Arizona’s law conflicted with federal’s laws.

The 9th Circuit first commented on why the federal government has this control.

Federal control over immigration policy is integral to the federal government’s ability to manage foreign relations:

“Immigration policy can affect trade, investment, tourism, and diplomatic relations for the entire Nation, as well as the perceptions and expectations of aliens in this country who seek the full protection of its laws.  Perceived mistreatment of aliens in the United States may lead to harmful reciprocal treatment of American citizens abroad.

It is fundamental that foreign countries concerned about the status, safety, and security of their nationals in the United States must be able to confer and communicate on this subject with one national sovereign, not the 50 separate States.”

Then, the Court explained why the federal government has exclusive control over immigration and not the states. The Court stated:

Congress did not, however, grant states the authority to prosecute [section] 1324 violations, but instead vested that power exclusively in the federal authorities.  Thus, “the inference from these enactments is that the role of the states is limited to arrest for violations of federal law.”

(citations omitted).

Lastly, the 9th Circuit pointed to the conflict of laws of Arizona and federal statutes as follows:

  1. First, Arizona’s statute provided “additional and different state penalties.”
  2. Second, Arizona “conferred upon its prosecutors the ability to prosecute those who transport or harbor unauthorized aliens in a manner unaligned with federal immigration priorities.”
  3. Third, Arizona “criminaliz[ed] conduct not covered by the federal harboring provision.” Arizona also “criminalizes encouraging or inducing an alien to come to or reside in Arizona.”

 

As a side note, if you are interested in standing and organizational standing, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals discussed the standard and explained how plaintiffs had standing.

via Courthouse News Service.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under civil rights, courts, federal, immigration, legal decision

Government settles lawsuit on warrantless home raids of immigrants

I came across this interesting settlement between the U.S. Government and nearly a dozen Latino immigrants.  The lawsuit alleged that immigration agents  committed widespread 4th Amendment violations when conducting home raids of immigrants.

One plaintiff alleged that ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents pounded on doors before being allowed entry, swept through the homes, and terrorized the children.  The immigrants were U.S. citizens.  Another plaintiff alleged that when the home raids occurred she was 12-years old and that after busting in the ICE agents falsely told her “someone was dying upstairs.”

The District court approved of the stipulation and ordered the dismissal of the lawsuit.

Pursuant to the stipulation, the government will pay a $1 million settlement.  The settlement also provides that pending immigration proceedings will be terminated or delayed against eight (8) of the plaintiffs arrested during the raids.

Further, ICE will adopt policy changes for agents conducting warrantless home operations.  ICE agents must:

  • “seek consent to enter or search a private residence in a language understood by the resident whenever feasible;
  • they must have Spanish-speaking officers available to seek such consent when the target is from a Spanish-speaking country;
  • they must seek consent to to enter the outside areas of homes when there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as a backyard; and
  • they must not conduct protective sweeps through the homes without an articulable suspicion of danger.”

(bullet points added).

via Courthouse News Service.

Leave a comment

Filed under civil rights, immigration

ACLU Files Class-Action Lawsuit on Behalf of Detainees

The ACLU and its partners filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of hundreds of immigrants in New Jersey subject to mandatory immigration detention. The lead plaintiff, Garfield Gayle, a 59-year-old green card holder from Jamaica, has lived in the United States for 30 years. Nearly eight months ago, when federal agents put him in handcuffs at his home, he learned that the government was trying to deport him based on an alleged attempted drug sale offense that happened more than 17 years ago.

“There is no reason to incarcerate people for months or even years on end when they have every incentive to show up in court, fight their cases, and win the right to stay in America with their loved ones,” said Michael Tan, lead attorney on the case.

Heres a link to the complaint.

According to the ACLU, “the case exemplifies many of the problems with widespread, costly and inhumane detentions around the country; there is of course great hope that some of this can change now that there is a lot of talk about immigration reform. Mr. Gayle, along with a record-breaking 429,000 immigrants in the U.S. in 2011, is being held in a detention center even though he has long roots and family in the U.S. and poses no threat.”

For additional information on the issue of immigrants in detention, click here.

via ImmigrationProf Blog: ACLU Files Class-Action Lawsuit on Behalf of Detainees.

Leave a comment

Filed under civil rights, immigration

Arpaio ruling by 9th Circuit

Sheriff Joe Arpaio may not detain suspects based solely on a belief that they are in the country illegally, the 9th Circuit ruled on September 25 2012.  You can read the decision here.

The federal appeals panel in San Francisco late Tuesday upheld a preliminary injunction in a class action over the sheriff’s alleged pattern of racial profiling. Other issues in the action went to trial in Phoenix in late July.

U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow issued the preliminary injunction in 2011, prohibiting deputies from “detaining any individual ‘based only on knowledge or reasonable belief, without more, that the person is unlawfully present within the United States.” Snow has yet to rule on other aspects of the case, which was the subject of seven-day bench trial in July. Whatever his ruling, the case is likely to return the 9th Circuit on appeal.

In Tuesday’s limited review of the preliminary injunction, a three-judge appeals panel found that the plaintiffs were likely to succeed with their Fourth Amendment claims, and that they were likely to be profiled again in the absence of a court order.

“Even if the plaintiffs comply with all criminal laws enforceable by the defendants, under the defendants’ view of the Fourth Amendment, the plaintiffs remain vulnerable to unlawful detention solely because an officer has reasonable suspicion or knowledge that they are not authorized to be present in the United States,” wrote Judge J. Clifford Wallace for the unanimous panel.

The panel found the plaintiffs’ case strong and likely to succeed because “mere unauthorized presence is not a criminal matter, [and] suspicion of unauthorized presence alone does not give rise to an inference that criminal activity is ‘afoot.'”

“While the seizures of the named plaintiffs based on traffic violations may have been supported by reasonable suspicion, any extension of their detention must be supported by additional suspicion of criminality,” Wallace wrote. “Unlawful presence is not criminal.Nor does illegal presence, without more, give rise to reasonable suspicion of violation of Arizona’s human smuggling statute, as the defendants maintain.”

via Courthouse News Service.

Leave a comment

Filed under civil rights, immigration, legal decision