The Constitution doesn’t defend non-citizens even on American soil. Police in Southaven, Mississippi, responding to a domestic-violence report, reach a wrong address, knocked loudly, then shot dead the homeowner, Ismael Lopez. Officers claimed Lopez had pointed a gun but Lopez’s widow, Claudia Linares, denies this and filed an excessive-force lawsuit worth $20 million against the City.
The City asked the federal court to dismiss it as Lopez was an undocumented immigrant without any constitutional protection. A 1990 Supreme Court upheld that non-citizens couldn’t draw reference from the Fourth Amendment right, i.e against “unreasonable searches” to hide evidence seized beyond the country’s border. From Federal agents searching a non-resident’s homes outside the country to local police killing immigrants living in the U.S. in their own homes 800 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, is a major leap. Experts say Supreme Court cases uphold that undocumented people have constitutional rights.
The No-Rights Argument?
The Fourteenth Amendment states requirements of “due process of law” and “equal protection of the laws” do apply to “any person within its jurisdiction.” The amendment framers were clear that the order covered immigrants on American soil. The amendment’s Section One author John Bingham, explained that it covered every stranger, citizen, and human being, within the border is protected by the limitations of the US Constitution, while the amendment was in the later stages of being ratified in the states. But as of 2019, the brutality of this “no rights” argument has a certain deranged plausibility. The major immigration cases are Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California and its two companion cases, as regards the legality of Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program. But 2 other, less publicized cases throw focus on how far these constitutional limitations can protect someone against the government’s powers in matters of immigration.
Contentious Cases Coming up
The first case Hernandez v. Mesa seeks a remedy for Sergio, a Mexican-origin citizen, a young boy, who was killed by a US Border Patrol agent as he opened fire on someone in Mexico. Sergio’s family has approached federal court as they are seeking damages from Mesa. In the 1970s, Warren Burger’s Court prepared the Bivens remedy for those who had been deprived constitutional rights by federal agents. The issue is whether a Mexican killed in Mexico by a Federal agent shooting from U.S. territory can use this. The second case is Thuraissigiam v. Department of Homeland Security, which questions a hasty deportation system referred to as “expedited removal,” that was created by Congress in 1996, ensuring immigrants some procedural guarantees as found in regular deportation proceedings. DHS extends this procedure to those immigrants who had been caught within the first 100 miles of the border. The Immigration and Nationality Act permits it and should the full habeas review not cover expedited-removal cases, the ICE agents may seize immigrants anywhere and remove them without due procedure.
Creating Constitution-free Zones?
With the light solely focussed on the legality in immigration laws over the few years, those Mexicans who were killed in Mexico by a US officer on the American side cannot invoke the ‘Searches and Seizures’ section of the Fourth Amendment or ‘Due Process’ under the Fifth Amendment. Habeas corpus does not apply to those immigrants arrested within 100 miles from the border. Now the government says that habeas does not apply to any US immigrant anywhere. Lawyers can persuade a court to just junk the Constitution altogether.