Immigration Law

9th Circuit rejects claim that illegal reentry law violated defendant’s right to equal protection

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A federal appeals court on Monday rejected a defendant’s claim that his Fifth Amendment equal protection rights were violated by a law making it a crime to reenter the United States after deportation.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at San Francisco said the defendant, Mexican citizen Gustavo Carrillo-Lopez, did not meet his burden to prove that Congress enacted the law because of discriminatory animus against Mexicans or other Central and South Americans.

The Associated Press has coverage of the May 22 decision. The law at issue is Section 1326 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

The 9th Circuit decision overturns a Nevada federal judge’s decision to dismiss Carrillo-Lopez’s indictment and his finding that the law was enacted with a discriminatory purpose.

Sirine Shebaya, executive director of the National Immigration Project, emailed a statement on the decision to the AP.

“We are deeply disappointed in the 9th Circuit’s decision to uphold Section 1326, a discriminatory law that continues to fuel the mass incarceration of Black and brown people, waste government resources and tear families apart,” Shebaya said.

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