It comes as a surprise to most people who live in America that the United States Constitution provides the same protections to all persons on our country’s soil, not just its citizens. Although there are some rights only citizens have, such as voting in presidential elections, most other rights provided by the Constitution are for all people—immigrants, asylum seekers, undocumented workers and visitors—anyone on U.S. land. In very few cases, the Constitution refers to the rights of citizens, but in most cases, it refers to people or persons.
“Most of the provisions of the Constitution apply on the basis of personhood and jurisdiction in the United States where ‘people’ or ‘person’ is used rather than ‘citizen,’” states Christina Rodriguez, a Yale Law School professor.
According to the Constitution, everyone physically on U.S. soil is protected by the Fifth Amendment provisions that “no person … shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”
Because of the country’s current volatility around immigrants, many of whom have been denied due process and have been unjustly incarcerated and deported, important issues regarding their rights have arisen.
Long before the current presidential administration, in 1993 Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia wrote that the Fifth Amendment entitles “aliens” due process in incarceration and deportation proceedings, i.e., immigrants, asylum seekers and undocumented workers.
Despite the clear protections stated in the Constitution for any persons in our country, in numerous cases, immigrants, asylum seekers and undocumented workers’ rights have been and are being denied.
The Constitution’s Human Rights’ Protections (In Part) Afforded All Persons On U.S. Soil
▪To practice their chosen religion.
▪To circulate opinions in print or through media without censorship by the government.
▪To express opinions privately and publicly–“freedom of speech.”
▪To present requests to (or petition) the government without being punished or retaliated against.
▪To assemble peacefully to petition the government for relief of wrong or injury without fear of retaliation.
▪To not be subjected to unreasonable search of oneself or one’s property and/or seizure of one’s property without due process.
▪To not allow soldiers/military in one’s home.
▪To not be charged with a serious crime unless accused (indicted) by a grand jury.
▪To not be forced to testify against oneself.
▪To not be incarcerated or deported without due process of law.
▪To have a right to a “speedy” trial and legal counsel.
Though the Constitution seems to make clear human rights protections while in the U.S., assuring those rights can be tricky.
In some cases, immigrants don’t receive a hearing and are booted out of the country unceremoniously, which President Donald Trump encouraged in a tweet, writing:
“Undocumented immigrants should be immediately returned from where they came with no judges or court cases.”
Trump’s preference is clear, and he supports denial of immigration hearings. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders supports Trump’s assertion by referring to the process of expedited removal, created by the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. Sanders states that it doesn’t mean a person isn’t receiving due process just because they don’t see a judge.
Immigrants who aren’t deported through the expedited removal process ostensibly have the right to due process in an immigration court, but they still have very few rights there. In immigration court, the goal is to determine whether a person has a legal claim to remain in the U.S., and little to no evidence is required to expel them.
John Gihon, who served as a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement prosecutor, explained that what constitutes evidence in immigration court is sparse, unauthenticated and often based on hearsay, none of which is allowable in other U.S. courts.
“In the majority of [immigration] cases, it’s a lock solid 100 percent guaranteed [deportation] conviction because there is little defense…,” Gihon stated. And this is especially true when an immigrant doesn’t have legal counsel.
Constitutional law assures defendants the right to legal counsel when they are accused of a felony. But crossing the U.S. border illegally is only a misdemeanor, so immigrants are routinely tried without counsel.
And in those cases, the odds of an immigrant remaining in the U.S. are stacked against them.
Attorney V. James DeSimone Expertly Represents Individuals Whose Civil Rights Have Been Violated
If you or your loved one believes Constitutional laws have been violated it’s critical you seek the advice of a civil rights attorney immediately.
The V. James DeSimone team of experienced, vigilant attorneys takes Constitutional rights violations very seriously. If your case qualifies and we accept you as a client, we’ll bring the strength of our over 30 years of skills and resources to maximize efforts to achieve justice and possible monetary compensation for the violations imposed on you by the government and immigration officials.
For a free case evaluation to determine if your Constitutional rights were violated, call the V. James Deimone attorney team today at 310-693-5561 to schedule a meeting with one of our immigration lawyers who will respectfully listen to what happened and discuss your options.
James DeSimone’s Legal Team Members Vigorously Fight for Immigrants’ Rights
When you or your loved one’s rights have been violatedyou need the help of an attorney who understands civil rights’ laws. Attorney DeSimone was lead trial counsel in the case of Xue Lu et al. v United States America, and achieved a $1,200,000 verdict on behalf of the two Plaintiffs, where an asylum officer employed by the United States, demanded sex and money in return for approving asylum applications. DeSimone’s fifteen year legal battle on behalf of the two Plaintiff’s Resulted in the California Lawyer Magazine, sponsored by the State Bar of California, naming him Civil Rights Lawyer of the Year in 2014.
As your tenacious advocate, we’ll commit to winning the justice you deserve. Whether you or your loved one is in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Bernardino County, or anywhere else in Southern California, we may be able to help.
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To begin the conversation about your civil right violation contact attorney V. James DeSimone‘s legal team today. Through our intake system, we’ll ask you questions so we understand your unique situation and can assess whether we can help. Spanish-speaking (para hablar español) and English-speaking legal staff are available.
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Call V. James DeSimone’s legal team at 310.693.5561. Or if it’s easier, send us a private message on our contact form. Either way, we’ll respond promptly and courteously.
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