Friday, April 21, 2006

Immigration Laws As Quasi-Criminal Laws

According to the New York Times, Michael Chertoff (Homeland Security Secretary) once again stressed that immigration laws will be utilized as an extension of the criminal laws. In this context, he talked about it in terms of cracking down on the hiring of undocumented workers. He said at a press conference on April 20, 2006: "We target those organizations, we use intelligence to define the scope of the organization, and then we use all of the tools we have — whether it's criminal enforcement or the immigration laws — to make sure we come down as hard as possible and break the back of those organizations" (italics added).

Using immigration laws as quasi-criminal laws bolsters the argument that the exclusionary rule for motions to suppress must be applied in immigration cases in the same way it applies in criminal cases. It also bolsters the argument that the right to appointed counsel (whether under 5th Amendment due process concerns or 6th Amendment right to counsel concerns) must also be granted in immigration cases just like it exists in criminal cases.

The New York Times article is "U.S. Crackdown Set Over Hiring of Immigrants" by Eric Lipton, New York Times, April 21, 2006.


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