Show Me Your Papers
U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled that Arizona authorities can enforce the section of the state’s immigration law critics have called the “show me your papers” provision, as reported on CNN. This clears the way for police to carry out the requirement that officers, while enforcing other laws, question the immigration status of those they suspect are in the country illegally. This provision has been in the middle of a two-year legal battle that resulted in a U.S. Supreme Court decision in June upholding the requirement.
Those against the provision pled for Judge Bolton to block the provision, arguing that it would lead to systematic racial profiling and unreasonably long detentions if enforced. Those for the provision argued that racial profiling was simply a speculation. Governor Jan Brewer’s office also said that police have received training to avoid discriminatory practices and that officers must have reasonable suspicion that a person is in the country illegally to trigger the requirement.
Judge Bolton mentioned that her Court will not ignore statements from the Supreme Court that the provision cannot be challenged further on its face until the law takes effect. She confirmed the Supreme Court’s interpretation that the law may still be challenged as unconstitutional on other grounds.
Arizona’s law, SB1070, was passed in 2010. Five other states, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina, and Utah have adopted similar variations.
ICE Detained and Deported A Record Number of Illegals
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detained and deported a record number of illegals in 2011 and are on track for similar numbers this year, even though the number of illegals crossing the border dropped to a 40-year low, according to the New York Times. ICE agents deported 391,953 in 2011, including 188,000 convicted of crimes, which was an all-time high for such deportations.
Citizens of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador made up 93% of all people deported last year. To date there are about 366,000 deported through August 31, but they include 191,000 convicted criminals, more than last year. ICE also detained about 429,000 immigrants last year which was another record.
Though the Department of Homeland Security (DHs) had said that they are focusing on illegal immigrants with criminal convictions, the record number of deportations the past two years had a big impact on the Latino community, causing doubt on the Obama administration.
- 1st Circuit: Rebenko v. Holder, September 4, 2012. Asylum. Petitioner testified at the IJ level that she experienced mistreatment in Ukraine on account of her Pentecostal faith on four occasions: (1) her arrest in May of 1999; (2) her receipt of threatening phone calls from nationalists following her arrest; (3) the “mockings” she experienced during her graduation in June of 2000; and (4) her beating at the hands of “skinheads”. The 1st Circuit noted that Petitioner did not report any significant mistreatment before May of 1999 or after June of 2000, though she had practiced Pentecostalism since childhood and continued to live in Ukraine until July of 2001. The Court held that the IJ could have reasonably concluded that the mistreatment Petitioner described was not “systematic” but was “reflective of a series of isolated incidents” over the course of a bad year. The Court mentioned that Petitioner describes no nexus between her harassment at her graduation and any government action or omission. Her speculation that the police caused nationalists to make threatening phone calls was not supported by evidence. The Court viewed Petitioner’s May 1999 arrest as a single incident in which Petitioner suffered no injuries requiring medical treatment, and that a reasonable adjudicator would not be compelled to find that this incident rose to the level of persecution.
- 9th Circuit: Sanchez-Avalos v. Holder, September 4, 2012. Criminal. Petitioner petitioned for review the BIA’s decision that he is not eligible for waiver of inadmissibility because he was convicted of an aggravated felony. Petitioner argued that his conviction for sexual battery under California Penal Code § 243.4(a) did not qualify as sexual abuse of minor. The Court applied the categorical and modified categorical approaches. The Court concluded that the crime of sexual battery under California law is categorically broader than the federal generic crime of “sexual abuse of a minor” because the California crime may be committed against a victim of any age, while the federal generic offense requires proof that the victim was a minor. Court held that the crime of sexual battery in California is not categorically an aggravated felony, and that none of the evidence established that the petitioner’s victim was a minor.