Category: alien smuggling

When local governments take matters into their own hands…. Get ready for Fremont round 2.

It seems like local government in the west still want to enforce immigration laws, even though the ink from the Arizona decision is not dry yet. You might have heard about a local city’s plan (Fremont, Nebraska) to enforce immigration laws by blocking their ability to rent housing within the city. A federal judge had allowed the old plan to go forward, until opponents could show that the plan is discriminatory. 
The new plan was passed yesterday by voters. The plan requires renters to get a $5 permit and attest that they are in legally in the United States.  The ACLU plans to file a new lawsuit to challenge the ordinance. The ACLU challenged a similar plan that was passed in 2010.  The Eighth Circuit upheld parts of the ordinance. Read the ACLU’s brief here.
I have long been against local enforcement of immigration laws. The Supreme Court agreed that local enforcement is preempted under federal law. Why do you think local governments keep passing these laws? I welsome your comments.
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Seventh Circuit Rules that Hearsay Evidence Violates Due Process

In a decision issued last month, the Seventh Circuit ruled that admission of highly unreliable hearsay evidence by the immigration judge violated an immigrant’s due process rights. Pouhova is a Bulgarian citizen who applied for adjustment of status but was placed in removal proceedings in 2007.  One of the removal grounds was allegedly assisting an alien enter the US illegally in violation of  8 USC 1227(a)(1)(E)(i).

 

To prove deportability, the Service introduced the affidavit of another person who allegedly used her passport to enter the US in 2000 and the affidavit of the officer who interviewed that person at the airport prepared in 2007.  Pouhova challenged the admission of these documents since she was not allowed to cross-examine the witnesses. The immigration judge admitted the documents over these objections, sustained the charge, and ordered her removed. The BIA upheld the decision.
 
In reversing the BIA’s decision and ordering a new hearing, the Seventh Circuit reasoned that Pouhova’s due process rights were violated since the documents were not reliable and since she was not allowed to cross-examine the witnesses.
 
I have run into this problem before, where the government tried to admit documents without producing the declarant. I currently have a case pending before the Board on the same issue. The case is a case of first impression in the Eleventh Circuit. I will keep you updated.