The Promise and Failure of Silence As a Shield Against Immigration Enforcement

55 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2018

See all articles by Linus Chan

Linus Chan

University of Minnesota School of Law - Center for New Americans

Date Written: September 9, 2017

Abstract

When confronted by law enforcement, criminal suspects' most powerful, and constitutionally protected tool has been silence. The right to remain silent has become ingrained into our shared understanding of criminal law, but its potential use in immigration enforcement remained largely untested, even as legal advocates regularly tell the public to remain silent when encountering immigration enforcement officials. This paper examines the potential force of silence in protecting people from immigration enforcement and concludes that it is unlikely to have a significant impact on immigration detention without a corresponding change in how people view their immigration status. As long as immigration status continues to be viewed by citizens and non-citizens alike as potentially relevant identifiers, the power of silence to protect against deportation will remain weak.

Keywords: immigration, Miranda, Self-incrimination, fifth amendment, Immigration enforcement

Suggested Citation

Chan, Linus, The Promise and Failure of Silence As a Shield Against Immigration Enforcement (September 9, 2017). Valparaiso University Law Review, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3108740

Linus Chan (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota School of Law - Center for New Americans ( email )

229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

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