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An immigrant who claims she was discriminated against by deputies filed a lawsuit against police, but today, the Supreme Court has decided they will not consider the case to much disappointment within the immigrant community who say they face discrimination and racial profiling daily.
Roxana Santos is an immigrant from El Salvador and says she was discriminated against back in 2008 when she was arrested on a civil immigration warrant. A civil immigration warrant gives Immigration officials consent to search a property according to the Fourth Amendment which prohibits any warrantless intrusions. The Constitution protects both citizens and noncitizens alike.
She was later detained and only then did police check her immigration status only because she looked Hispanic. The County argues against Santos’s claims saying she looked suspicious after she was trying to hide outside when deputies were driving past her. Furthermore, if police are prohibited from making arrests on civil warrants, this may weaken their counterterrorism efforts.
This case has raised the issue of discrimination against immigrants because of how they look and the stereotypes associated with an image attached to undocumented immigrants. The Supreme Court said it will not hear the county’s appeal of the ruling they made in August and the U.S. District Court will take care of further proceedings. Immigration rights groups were hoping the High Court would address local law enforcement agencies who pursue individuals who they assume are undocumented immigrants.
The U.S. Court of Appeals decision followed the Supreme Court’s decision in Arizona v. United States, where the court did not explicitly say how far law enforcement may go to identify and arrest individuals whom they believed were in the U.S. illegally. The court expressed reservations, but never stated or implemented any specific restraints on law enforcement.
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