Tuesday, October 19, 2021

2d Amendment Rights of Undocumented Migrants


Do undocumented migrants have Second Amendment rights? This is a question the 2d Circuit recently assessed in a case called Perez.

The Constitution protects "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms." Do undocumented migrants fall within "the people"?

Law360 has really comprehensive coverage of the issue in a recent article that quotes many of our very own immprofs. 

Deep Gulasekaram (Santa Clara) asks: "Can you interpret 'the people' as only covering citizens?... That's actually a fairly indefensible interpretation ​​if you think that the Second Amendment is an individual right of self-defense."

Lenni Benson (NYLS) says: "Citizen or noncitizen," the Perez case "is an example of the tremendous power of government to upend your life... At the core of this case, is this issue of how we treat, constitutionally, the people living amongst us."

Geoffrey A. Hoffman (Houston) comments: "You're now decreasing the Second Amendment with respect to immigrants. And what does that say about the First Amendment?... This decision could be interpreted, more globally, to implicate and undermine immigrants' rights in many different areas."

Geoffrey Heeren (Idaho) states: "It's this evolving trend to limit the definition of 'the people' to citizens... The way that the courts decide cases under the Second Amendment could bleed over into the analysis of other issues.... That goes to the heart of our democracy."



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