'Good Reason to Believe': Widespread Constitutional Violations in the Course of Immigration Enforcement and the Case for Revisiting Lopez-Mendoza

51 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2008 Last revised: 12 Jun 2013

Date Written: June 6, 2008

Abstract

In 1984 the Supreme Court held in INS v. Lopez-Mendoza that the exclusionary rule did not ordinarily apply to respondents in immigration proceedings. However, the Court suggested that its opinion about the applicability of the exclusionary rule might change if constitutional violations by immigration officers became a widespread problem. First, this paper proposes that constitutional violations by immigration officers have become both geographically and institutionally widespread in the years since Lopez-Mendoza. Second, this paper argues that immigration law and the practice of immigration enforcement have changed fundamentally in the twenty-four years since Lopez-Mendoza was decided, undermining the assumptions on which the majority in 1984 based its arguments against the use of the exclusionary rule. The paper therefore concludes that, in the modern context, remaining faithful to Lopez-Mendoza requires the reintroduction of the exclusionary rule in immigration proceedings.

Keywords: Immigration, Lopez-Mendoza, Exclusionary Rule, Fourth Amendment, Fifth Amendment, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Raids

Suggested Citation

Elias, Stella Burch, 'Good Reason to Believe': Widespread Constitutional Violations in the Course of Immigration Enforcement and the Case for Revisiting Lopez-Mendoza (June 6, 2008). Wisconsin Law Review, Vol. 2008, No. 6, p. 1109, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1142150

Stella Burch Elias (Contact Author)

University of Iowa - College of Law ( email )

Melrose and Byington
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States

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