Monday, September 21, 2020

Court Rules


ICE Violates the Fourth Amendment When It Detains People Without Probable Cause, 

Court Rules

A federal appeals court recently ruled that the Fourth Amendment requires a neutral decisionmaker to review the detention of anyone held based on an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer. The decision came after ICE attempted to detain an American citizen without probable cause and flagged him as eligible for deportation from the United States.

In Gonzalez v. ICE, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed ICE’s process for issuing immigration detainers. ICE issues an immigration detainer when it wants state or local law enforcement officers to hold a person after their release date so ICE can arrest and detain them.

Detainers are often issued based on information contained in ICE or other government agency databases. These databases are notorious for their frequent errors.

ICE must have probable cause that a person can be deported before it may detain them. Based on this fact, the judge ruled there must also be a neutral evaluation of probable cause. Such review must occur “promptly,” which is usually defined as 48 hours.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Racism @ the Border

 Institutional Racism Is Rampant in Immigration Enforcement at the U.S.-Mexico Border

A Black former U.S. diplomat recently shared her experience of months of racial profiling by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials while she was stationed at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. She was tasked with enforcing U.S. immigration law, but nevertheless found herself racially profiled and discriminated against by U.S. immigration authorities.

The problem became so severe that she now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and had to quit her job. Unfortunately, this is just one example of immigration officials’ long history of racism at the border.

CBP Racially Profiles a U.S. Diplomat

In 2018, Tianna Spears was a new diplomat stationed at the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. She frequently crossed the border into El Paso, Texas, as thousands of other U.S. citizens do every day. However, she soon found that she was treated differently than others by CBP officers at the border.

Spears estimates that CBP officers required her to go through “secondary inspection” approximately two out of every three times that she crossed. This outcome should have been extremely rare given her diplomatic passport and SENTRI card allowing for expedited clearance. Her non-Black colleagues never had similar experiences.