Alienated: Immigrant Rights, the Constitution, and Equality in America

By Victor C. Romero | Go to book overview

4
Building the Floor
Preserving the Fourth Amendment Rights
of Undocumented Migrants

In this chapter, I contend that the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable government searches and seizures is a constitutional “floor” that should extend to undocumented immigrants, despite recent pronouncements by some courts suggesting otherwise. The Fourth Amendment is a personal (as opposed to citizenship) right meant to deter unlawful government conduct. Developments in tort premises liability law provide an interesting analogy: just as we should require tortfeasor landowners to compensate persons injured on their property irrespective of their relationship to the plaintiffs, our constitutional law should provide Fourth Amendment protections against the government regardless of the claimant's immigration status.

While the denial of public benefits to lawful permanent residents might define one end of the debate over noncitizens' rights, this chapter chooses to take up the other extreme: the possible denial of domestic Fourth Amendment rights to so-called “illegal aliens,” or, less pejoratively, undocumented immigrants. While this issue has been the subject of much debate in the literature,1 its reexamination is in order in light of a 2003 Utah federal district court's decision entitled United States v. EsparzaMendoza.2 In Esparza-Mendoza, U.S. District Judge Paul Cassell ruled that a previously deported undocumented immigrant was not protected by the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable government searches.

The facts of Esparza-Mendoza are compelling, although the case starts out rather ordinarily. Around March 1997, Mexican citizen Jorge Esparza-Mendoza crossed the border into the United States, evading immigration authorities. Two years later, in April 1999, he was convicted in a

-69-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Alienated: Immigrant Rights, the Constitution, and Equality in America
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 261

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.