Immigration Law Decisions: Decided
Decided - The FindLaw Noteworthy Decisions and Settlements Blog

Recently in Immigration Law Category

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is a federal policy that temporarily protects undocumented immigrants brought into the country unlawfully by their parents from deportation. Along with the DREAM ACT, it confers some legal standing to undocumented immigrants, like the ability to work, go to school, or get a driver's license.

The state of Arizona had been pushing back hard against the third part, with then-Governor Jan Brewer signing an executive order in 2012 denying licenses for young, undocumented immigrants. But the Ninth Circuit has overturned that ban and permanently enjoined the state from enforcing it.

Remember when your parents told you that you couldn't do something? You would ask "Why not?" and your parent answers, "Because I said so." After the Supreme Court's decisions in Din v. Kerry, the government can now essentially use such an answer in its immigrant visa denials.

In a 5-4 decision, the divided Supreme Court ruled that due process does not entitle visa applicants to more detailed justifications for why their applications were denied.

An Arizona law denying bail to certain undocumented immigrants was struck down on Wednesday by a federal appeals court, finding the law to be an unconstitutional violation of due process.

This isn't the first time that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has reviewed Proposition 100, a 2006 Arizona ballot measure that denied bail to undocumented immigrants charged with "serious" crimes. The Los Angeles Times reported that the appellate court upheld the law in a 2-1 decision last year, but the full panel wanted to rehear the case.

So why did the 9th Circuit decide to struck down the no-bail law this time?

Arizona immigrants celebrated a victory in court Monday, when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals blocked enforcement of a policy that prohibits young immigrants from receiving Arizona driver's licenses.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA, also known as the "Dream Act") gives certain residents who were brought to the United States without documentation as children a chance to legally remain in the country and work. But under Arizona's policy, these "Dreamers" couldn't use their federally authorized employment documents as proof of their legal presence in the country.

Why did the 9th Circuit block this driver's license policy?

Mont. Law Requiring 'Immigration Checks' Struck Down

A federal judge in Montana has struck down most of a state law that required government officials to check the immigration status of those applying for state services.

The law was passed by voters in 2012 and required that Montana state officials run an immigration check on anyone applying for a wide array of state services, including unemployment benefits and crime-victim assistance, reports The Associated Press.

Why did the federal judge take issue with Montana's law?

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that foreign-born young relatives of American citizens and legal immigrants need to start the visa process over if they "age out" while waiting for a visa.

Currently the law allows extended relatives (such as nieces, nephews, and grandchildren) of legal U.S. residents to "piggyback" on their parents' visa applications until they reach 21 and "age out." The Supreme Court was asked to interpret whether U.S. immigration law intended to keep extended families together, which it denied, reports Reuters.

Why did the High Court come down hard on immigrants in this case?

Ala. Immigration Law: Settlement Would Block Parts of HB 56

A proposed settlement is set to block key parts of Alabama's controversial immigration law. If approved, it would end a legal challenge over the law.

Civil rights groups including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued Alabama over HB 56, one of the toughest anti-illegal immigration laws in the country. They're seeing this deal as a "significant victory," CNN reports.

The proposed settlement, filed in federal court last week, would preclude the enforcement of several portions of HB 56.

A portion of Arizona's controversial anti illegal-immigrant law has been blocked and held as void by the 9th Circuit, finding that the language of the law was too vague to enforce.

The federal appellate court upheld a lower court's injunction stopping the enforcement of part of Arizona's SB 1070, which made it a criminal offense to "harbor or transport" illegal immigrants.

What part of this Arizona law was too vague to enforce?

Joe Arpaio's Sheriff Department Racially Profiled Latinos, Court Finds

A federal court ruled that Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies racially profiled Latinos while on immigration patrols in the Arizona county, reports The New York Times.

The ruling is a major blow to the self-proclaimed “toughest sheriff in America,” who has become the poster child of Arizona’s strict approach to immigration enforcement. The lawsuit was brought by a group of Latinos who alleged they were racially profiled by Arpaio’s deputies as targets for raids and traffic stops.

Arpaio’s attorneys plan to appeal the federal judge’s ruling in the next 30 days.

Cops Can Enforce 'Show Me Papers' Provision of AZ Immigration Law

Arizona's controversial immigration law was passed back in 2010 but Tuesday was the first time one of the more hotly contested provisions could be enforced.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled that police can start enforcing the 'show me your papers' provision of the law after a two year legal battle. The ruling comes after a Supreme Court decision earlier this year that upheld the provision, reports CNN.

The provision doesn't mean police can check anyone's papers. But it does give them additional power to question immigration status in certain circumstances.