Monday, June 18, 2018
As reported earlier, Federal Judge Mark Wolf of Boston is presiding over an ACLU challenge to recent ICE tactics of summarily arresting and detaining undocumented immigrants who appear at federal offices for scheduled appointments to regularize their immigration status. At issue in the case is whether ICE violated its own procedures, and the constitution, in initiating such detentions.
In a 62-page ruling requiring ICE to release two named plaintiffs from detention pending an immigration hearing, Judge Wolf began by noting that "This country was born with a declaration of universal human rights." Judge Wolf reiterated the Declaration's proclamation that "'all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,' and that 'among these' is 'Liberty.' " And Judge Wolf opined that these fundamental protections are codified in the U.S. Constitution's 5th Amendment.
Judge Wolf did not reach the question of whether arrests of immigrants at marriage interviews is legal in general. But commenting on the extraordinary facts of the case, Judge Wolf observed:
"The United States has historically been distinguished by its dedication to treating lawfully and fairly all among us, including aliens who are in the country illegally. However, as Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis observed, in each generation we "must labor to possess that which [we] have inherited." Paul Freund, "Mr. Justice Brandeis," in On Law and Justice at 119 (1968). These cases are a reminder that Justice Brandeis was right."