Friday, May 15, 2015
Your (U.S.) Government at Work: Obama Administration Argues that Detained Immigrant Mothers Have No First Amendment Rights
Michael Kagan in this piece in Salon highlights the inconsistency in the Obama administration's positions in two current pieces of immigration litigation. In Texas v. United States, the administration seeks to protect the administration's immigration executive actions and a new expanded deferred action program for undocumented immigrants. In Pineda-Cruz v. Thompson, the administration argues that noncitizens in detention lack any First Amendment rights. The Department of Justice 's brief in that case states that "as non-resident aliens who have not gained admission or entry to the United States … Plaintiffs are not entitled to prevail in a lawsuit challenging violations of the Constitutional protections of the First Amendment.”
The Pineda-Cruz case is about a petition circulated by mothers in a detention center, alleging that in retaliation for their protests against detention conditions, they were placed in isolation and threatened with having their children taken from them.