Constitutionality of DACA Rescission

By: Michael Divers On September 5, the current administration rescinded the guarantee to many young people currently in America illegally that the government would not interfere with their work or studies. This program, known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (or DACA) was designed to allow young undocumented immigrants, brought to America illegally, work permits and safety from deportation. This group of young people, colloquially known as “Dreamers,” is a group of high-functioning, well-educated young men and women that are arguably aiding the United States economy. This rescission is extremely unpopular, with 73 percent of Americans wanting legislation that protects Dreamers from deportation. President Trump has come out in support of protecting the group, and claims that he hopes “Congress will be able to help them out and do it properly.” So if the president and the American people are in support of DACA, why get rid of it? Part of that answer stems from a 2015 case, Texas v. United States, in which 26 states challenged the lawfulness of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA”) and the expansion of DACA. DAPA was similar to DACA, but it applied to the parents of children [read more]

States Push Back Against Peaceful Protests (Part One)

By: Donovan Suh In the wake of President Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, millions of protestors took to the streets across the country to voice their concerns and grievances involving Trump’s immigration stance. While Muslims and Muslim support groups are encouraged by and grateful for the support provided by protestors across the country, Republican lawmakers are pushing legislation that would criminalize nonviolent protest. For example, in Iowa, lawmakers have introduced a bill that would make blocking traffic a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. In Minnesota, lawmakers proposed an anti-protest bill that would dramatically stiffen fines for freeway protests and would allow prosecutors to seek up to a full year of jail time for protestors blocking a highway. In Indiana, legislators have introduced a bill that would allow police to remove protestors blocking traffic using “any means necessary.” These are not the only states considering anti-protest bills. Others include: Washington, Michigan, North Dakota, Virginia, Colorado, North Carolina, and Missouri. These various anti-protest bills have caught the attention of the nation’s most active civil liberties guardians, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the First Amendment Coalition (FAC). Lee Rowland, a senior attorney at [read more]

Trump’s Muslim Immigration Ban – Concerning but Likely Constitutional

By: Donovan Suh   President Trump has recently signed an executive order, titled “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals,” that restricts visits and immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Iran. Trump’s executive order has sparked widespread protest and backlash from Muslim support groups, and has routinely been characterized as “racist.” Some critics of the executive order argue that the immigration ban targeting solely Muslim-majority countries is unconstitutional. Current United States law and court cases, however, grant the President broad authority to restrict immigration from particular countries. In the decades following the ratification of the Constitution, the Supreme Court determined that the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch had “plenary power”—absolute power— over issues concerning immigration. Since then, Congress has given away much of its shared plenary power over immigration to the Executive Branch. For example, Congress delegated to the Executive Branch the power to determine whether foreigners should be granted temporary protected status, whether a person is permitted to work in the United States, whether a person’s deportation should be deferred, and whether to grant a person permission to be in the United States when the person does not qualify for [read more]

Anti-Immigrant Housing Ordinances and Comprehensive Reform by Daniel Eduardo Guzman

Introduction No fewer than 100 counties and municipalities across the nation have passed anti-immigrant housing ordinances (AIHOs) that are designed to expel or discourage undocumented immigrants from living in their communities.[1] The most infamous of these municipal ordinances, Hazleton, Pennsylvania’s Illegal Immigration Relief Act Ordinance (IIRA), was passed in 2006.[2] In addition to Hazleton-style IIRAs, AIHOs without language explicitly targeting immigrants are also fairly common.  Seeking the same ends as municipalities that employ Hazleton-style AIHOs, municipalities use housing provisions addressing “overcrowding,” “maximum occupancy” and family make-up to drive undocumented immigrants out of their communities. The latter AIHOs, by excluding language that specifically implicates immigrants, are more legally robust.  And since courts have repeatedly concluded that federal law preempts Hazleton-style AIHOs, municipalities seeking to expel immigrants are more likely to use occupancy ordinances to meet those same, anti-immigrant ends.  This Blog post argues that an effective challenge to all AIHOs and Hazleton-style and occupancy ordinances, must reserve a role for both states and the federal government.  Part I of this Blog post examines Hazleton’s aforementioned AIHO and occupancy ordinances in Prince William County, Virginia.  Part II reviews legal theories used to challenge AIHOs.  Part III offers alternative legal and public policy [read more]