- The 9th Circuit overturns ruling on deportation law.
- A Nevada court had previously overturned Section 1326 for being racist.
- The law fuels family separations.
Ninth Circuit overturns Nevada court. A federal appeals court has ruled that a deportation law leading to families being separated at the southern border is «neutral as to race» overturning an unprecedented court decision in Nevada that had called it racist and unconstitutional.
The Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit issued its long-awaited decision on Monday regarding the law known as Section 1326 that makes it a crime to return to the United States illegally after deportation, expulsion or denial of admission.
9th Circuit court makes surprise decision regarding deportation law
The ruling is a setback for activists who had hoped to see major changes to the country’s immigration system after federal judge Miranda Du threw out an illegal re-entry charge against a Mexican immigrant nearly two years ago. Du said she had dismissed the case because Section 1326 of the Immigration and Nationality Act discriminates against Latinos and therefore violated the constitutional rights of Gustavo Carrillo López.
“We are deeply disappointed in the Ninth Circuit’s decision to uphold Section 1326, a discriminatory law that continues to fuel the mass incarceration of Black and brown people, waste government resources, and tear families apart,” said Sirine Shebaya, executive director of the National Immigration Project, in an emailed statement.
Federal court reverses ruling on Section 1326
A federal public defender for Carrillo also said she was disappointed in the court’s ruling, but declined to say whether she would appeal to the Supreme Court. “We intend to seek additional review on this very important constitutional issue,” Amy Cleary said in a statement to The Associated Press.
Du’s ruling in August 2021 was the first of its kind since Congress made it a crime nearly a century ago to return to the United States after deportation under the Undesirable Aliens Act of 1929, the AP news agency detailed. . Filed Under: US Court reverses ruling.
The Justice Department quickly appealed
His 43-page order traced the history of the law to the 1920s, a time when “the Ku Klux Klan had been reborn, Jim Crow had come of age, and public intellectuals preached the science of eugenics» said UCLA history professor and Section 1326 principal investigator Kelly Lytle Hernandez to The Associated Press.
The Justice Department quickly appealed. They acknowledged that the 1929 law was based on racism but argued in December before a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit in California that subsequent revisions, including Section 1326, made it constitutional. “That law, as enacted in 1952 and since modified, is constitutional in accordance with the principles of equal protection,” a Justice Department attorney told the judges.
Section 1325 criminalizes unauthorized entry into the United States
«And the district court in this case is the only one in the country to find otherwise.» The Justice Department declined Monday to comment on the appeals court ruling. During the appeal, the federal government continued to apply Section 1326 to cases across the country because Du failed to include an injunction against the law in her order, the AP reported.
Section 1326 and its misdemeanor counterpart, Section 1325, are among the most numerous charges brought by the federal government. Section 1325 makes it a crime to enter the United States without authorization. The number of cases has declined since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Department of Justice continues to prosecute tens of thousands of people annually for repeat trespassing.
The number of cases has decreased since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic
At the same time, immigration attorneys and immigrant advocates across the country continue to challenge the deportation law, using the same legal framework as the Nevada case. And there are more cases to come, said Khaled Alrabe, one of the lead attorneys at the National Immigration Project, the AP said.
This week, a panel of judges from the US Virgin Islands Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit is scheduled to hear a similar case challenging Section 1326 as racist and unconstitutional. “We will continue to work with our partners, activists, organizers and, of course, federal advocates to repeal and get rid of these racist laws ourselves,” Alrabe said.