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In at least three court cases, President Obama’s Justice Department has argued in favor of federal law enforcement officers using race as a factor in determining whether to stop someone for a suspected immigration violation.
It has done so despite the fact that the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report that they do not engage in “racial profiling.”
The Justice Department’s legal arguments in defense of federal law enforcement officers using race as one factor among others in making immigration stops are based on the 1975 Supreme Court decision, U.S. v. Brignoni-Ponce. In that case, the court held 9-0 that an officer making an immigration stop must be able to cite “specific articulable facts” that “reasonably warrant suspicion” that illegal aliens are present.
“Except at the border and its functional equivalents, officers on roving patrol may stop vehicles only if they are aware of specific articulable facts, together with rational inferences from those facts, that reasonably warrant suspicion that the vehicles contain aliens who may be illegally in the country,” the court ruled in Brignoni-Ponce.
The Court said law enforcement officers could not stop a car merely because the occupants appeared to be of Mexican descent, but that they could consider such an appearance as one factor in making a determination that there was “reasonable suspicion” that illegal aliens were present.
“Even if they saw enough to think that the occupants were of Mexican descent, this factor alone would justify neither a reasonable belief that they were aliens, nor a reasonable belief that the car concealed other aliens who were illegally in the country,” the Supreme Court ruled. “Large numbers of native born and naturalized citizens have the physical characteristics identified with Mexican ancestry, and, even in the border area, a relatively small proportion of them are aliens. The likelihood that any given person of Mexican ancestry is an alien is high enough to make Mexican appearance a relevant factor, but, standing alone, it does not justify stopping all Mexican-Americans to ask if they are aliens.”
In 2003, the Justice Department published a “Guide Regarding the Use of Race by Federal Law Enforcement Agencies.” The guide said federal authorities “may not consider race or ethnicity except to the extent permitted by the Constitution and laws of the United States.”
In explaining what was permitted under the Constitution and the laws, the guide cited the precedent of Brignoni-Ponce.
Thus the rule of Brignoni-Ponce decision that ethnicity alone cannot be used to make an immigration stop but can be considered as one relevant factor-has been adopted by both Immigration Customs and Border Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), both components of DHS.
A Justice Department spokeswoman told CNSNews.com that department could not provide CNSNews.com with a full list of cases in which U.S. attorneys working for the Obama administration cited Brignoni-Ponce in federal court to justify immigration stops. However, court records indicate there have been at least three such cases.
Sales of previously owned U.S. homes dropped in July to their lowest pace in 15 years, an industry group said Tuesday, implying further loss of momentum in the economic recovery.
The National Association of Realtors said sales dropped a record 27.2% from June to an annual rate of 3.83 million units, the lowest level since May 1995. June’s sales pace was revised down to a 5.26 million-unit pace.
Despite that President Obama made Cap and Trade and other green policy plans a focal point of his campaign for president and early days in office, the White House has quietly scrubbed from its official website many of Obama’s promises and green initiatives.
Especially interesting it the sudden disappearance of Obama’s plan to commit $150 billion on clean energy research and development.
Terrorists in army uniforms stormed a hotel in the Somali capital Tuesday, killing at least 31 people, including six lawmakers, in an hourlong blaze of gunfire, explosions and smoke.
The Shabab movement, an Islamic terrorist group fighting the frail internationally backed government for years, claimed responsibility for the attack. Somalia has been a source of instability since the early 1990s.
The top Republican in the House of Representatives called on Tuesday for President Obama to fire his economic team in a speech meant to focus voters on the weak American economy.
Republican leader John Boehner said Obama should begin clearing house by replacing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and economic adviser Larry Summers. “It’s time to put grown-ups in charge.” Boehner said.
State testmakers played favorites when quizzing high-schoolers on world religions – giving Islam and Buddhism the kid-gloves treatment while socking it to Christianity, critics say.
Teachers complain that the reading selections from the Regents exam in global history featured glowing passages pertaining to Muslim society but much more critical essay excerpts on the subject of Christianity.
Chile’s president Sebastian Pinera euphorically waved the note, written deep inside a collapsed mine, that his country waited 17 agonizing days to see: “All 33 of us are fine in the shelter,” one of the trapped miners wrote in red letters.
Authorities and relatives of the miners hugged, climbed a nearby hill, planted 33 flags and sang the national anthem Sunday.
A Chinese passenger jet overshot a fog-shrouded runway in the country’s northeast and burst into flames Tuesday, killing 42 people and injuring 49 others, state media said.
The Henan Airlines plane with 91 passengers and crew crashed in Yichun city. The plane had taken off from Heilongjiang’s capital of Harbin shortly before 9 p.m. and crashed in heavy fog during landing.
A state judge in Jefferson Parish sentenced a Kenner woman to 10 days in jail Thursday because she was in court with low-riding pants that revealed her underwear and, according to one witness, a bit more.
Kimberly Senette, 23, remained in the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center Friday afternoon, after Judge Steve Windhorst held her in direct contempt of court.
A man living in Germany was shot in the back of his head, but it took him five years to realize it. Police said Tuesday that the 35-year-old was hit by a .22-caliber bullet in the town of Herne as he was out in the street partying and drunk on New Year’s Eve five years ago.
The man recalled receiving a blow to the head, but said he didn’t seek medical assistance at the time.
A French woman discovered her 42-year-old son had been buried in the same cemetery where she was attending her brother’s funeral, after she had tried to invite him to the ceremony.
The family were leaving the cemetery near Lille, Wednesday when one of them noticed a temporary wooden gravestone bearing the son’s name and date of birth in an area reserved for poor people.
Erick Lee Blanton, a 25-year-old Florida man was jailed Sunday after he allegedly threw a tantrum after losing an arm wrestling match.
According to Fort Pierce Police, Blanton became upset after he challenged a man to an arm wrestling contest and lost. Investigators say Blanton retaliated for by getting into a red pickup truck and then driving over the home’s lawn and mailbox.