Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Motion To Suppress Should Cite AG Guidelines For Undercover Operations

A motion to suppress that challenges either ICE undercover operations or an ICE deceptive sting should cite the 1984 Attorney General Guidelines for Undercover Operations. Immigration authorities investigating deportation issues used to be called INS, which reported directly to the Attorney General. In 2003, INS stopped existing and investigators moved to the Department of Homeland Security, which does not report directly to the Attorney General. Nevertheless, DHS undercover officials are still bound by the 1984 AG guidelines. Therefore, it was wrong for the IJ to reject a motion to suppress without considering whether the 1984 AG guidelines were still in effect.

In the case, the motion to suppress argued that ICE cannot use evidence obtained during an undercover operation because immigration officials did not follow the procedures laid out in the Guidelines. The Seventh Circuit remanded the case "in light of the fact that the Attorney General Guidelines on INS Undercover Operations continue to govern DHS’s actions." The case is Pieniazek v. Gonzales, No. 05-3008 (7th Cir. June 5, 2006).


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