From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Nevada judge strikes down immigration law aimed at illegal re-entry
By Rio Lacanlale, Las Vegas Review-Journal
August 18, 2021 – 8:48 pm
A federal judge in Nevada has declared unconstitutional a longstanding statute that makes it a crime to return to the United States after deportation, calling the law racist and discriminatory against “Mexican and Latinx individuals.”
“The record before the Court reflects that at no point has Congress confronted the racist, nativist roots of Section 1326,” U.S. District Judge Miranda Du wrote in a ruling issued Wednesday.
Judge Miranda Du is a Vietnamese refugee boat person. That seems rather relevant at the moment when the U.S. is considering taking in vast numbers of Omar Mateen’s kinfolk or merely paying Pakistan to put them up in the Northwest Territories.
Her order dismissed a case against a man named Gustavo Carrillo-Lopez, who was indicted during the Trump administration.
Besides being an illegal alien who has been deported twice before and illegally re-entered the US at least twice (not counting his first illegal entry, which is treated as a freebie rather than a crime), Gustavo Carillo-Lopez is a convicted trafficker of meth, heroin, and cocaine. Presumably, he is a cartelista.
This is the mugshot Google serves up for Gustavo Carrillo-Lopez, although I’m not sure it’s him. If it’s some other dirtbag, my apologies to him.
… Carrillo-Lopez was discovered in the U.S. in the summer of 2019 after having been deported in March 1999 and again in February 2012, according to his indictment.
Under Section 1326 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, according to U.S. Code, entry into the U.S. is illegal for anyone who has been denied admission, deported or removed.
“The amendments to Section 1326 over the past ninety years have not changed its function but have simply made the provision more punitive and broadened its reach,” Du wrote.
… Spanning 43 pages, Du’s order traces the origins and history of Section 1326 to the 1920s, described in the order as “the first and only era in which Congress openly relied on the now discredited theory of eugenics to enact immigration legislation.”
Congress first criminalized unlawful re-entry into the U.S. during that time frame as part of the Undesirable Aliens Act, or the Act of 1929.
When Section 1326 was enacted some 20 years later, Du wrote, Congress adopted language “word for word” from the Act of 1929, failing to “cleanse” its racist origins.
Du’s order also relies on data compiled by the U.S. Border Patrol.
“While no publicly available data exists as to the national origin of those prosecuted under Section 1326,” she wrote, “over 97% of persons apprehended at the border in 2000 were of Mexican descent, 86% in 2005, and 87% in 2010.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Casper, who prosecuted the case, did not respond to a request for comment. But according to court documents, prosecutors do “not dispute that Section 1326 bears more heavily on Mexican and Latinx individuals.”
Instead, the documents state, the government attributes the disparity to other causes.
“Specifically, the government argues that the stated impact is ‘a product of geography, not discrimination’ and the statistics rather ‘a feature of Mexico’s proximity to the United States, the history of Mexican employment patterns, and other socio-political and economic factors that drive migration from Mexico to the United States.’”
In other words, Mexicans are convicted of breaking this law more often than, say, New Zealanders because Mexicans break this law more often than New Zealanders.
Du wrote: “The court is not persuaded.”
Killer comeback, judge!
“The federal government’s plenary power over immigration does not give it license to enact racially discriminatory statutes in violation of equal protection,” the judge ruled.
Gorman said she does not want her client’s name to be lost in the news of the ruling. She pointed to the final page of her motion for dismissal, which she dedicated to Carrillo-Lopez.
“The racist history of Section 1326 is, at bottom, the history of millions of individual Latinx lives ruined, and degraded, by application of this unjust law,” she wrote. “Thus, Mr. Carrillo-Lopez’s name and story must be made part of the record.”
When the Department of Justice chose to prosecute Carrillo-Lopez “for being an ‘alien’” last June, more than a half-year before the COVID-19 vaccine was made available to the public, he already was serving a life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense.
After all, who is more famously Gandhi-like in their nonviolence than Mexican cartelistas?
Courthouse News reports:
Despite the ruling standing at odds with those of other federal district courts, it is unclear whether Du’s decision will be appealed by the Justice Department. The Biden administration has modified some of the Trump administration’s hardline immigration stances.
Former presidential candidate and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro tweeted that “this law has an incredibly racist history. I doubt the Biden DOJ will want to defend it in the appellate court.”
By Judge Du’s logic, all immigration laws going back to the 1790 act passed by the Founding Fathers restricting immigration to white persons, are racist and therefore unconstitutional.
Similarly, because laws against murder have disparate impact on blacks since blacks make up the majority of murderers in the United States, plus the white men who passed the laws against murder were biased against blacks, the criminalization of murder is thus unconstitutional.