Mass Deportation is Unconstitutional
The Committees is not opposed to immigration laws generally. However, the Administration’s methods of enforcement, including plans for mass deportations, are inherently unconstitutional. Here’s why.
The most recent available figures show there are at least 4.5 million U.S. citizen children that have at least one undocumented parent. If both of a U.S. citizen child’s parents are deported and the child goes with her parents, then the child has effectively been stripped of her U.S. citizenship, which is illegal (e.g., Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S. 253). A counter-argument is the U.S. citizen child could be placed with relatives in the U.S. or in foster care rather than being sent back to her parents’ country of origin. Now we run into the U.S. citizen child’s fundamental right to have an intact family unit, which Supreme Court precedent has held is a fundamental liberty interest given strict protections under the law (e.g., Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57). Further, the U.S. citizen child’s right to an intact family unit applies in a scenario where only one of her parents is undocumented and faces deportation. The bottom line is this scenario presents competing interests – the right of the government to enforce the immigration laws versus a U.S. citizen’s right to an intact family unit and protections against having their citizenship stripped – and between these competing interest, it is clear that the right to an intact family and the protections associated with citizenship must prevail.
What about undocumented persons who have lived and worked in the U.S. for years and who have committed no crime other than illegal entry? In this situation, the principles of equity and fairness contained in the Constitution and applied by federal courts since the country’s inception come into play. It would violate ideas of fairness and due process to deport an undocumented person that the government permitted to live and work in the country for years, receiving the benefit of the person’s labor and contributions to society. In this scenario, the government has consented to the undocumented person’s residence in the country though its actions. This is particularly the case for "Dreamers," undocumented persons brought here as children, who the government has extended certain protections to in exchange for them showing proof that they have met certain educational or military service requirements and have not been convicted of any serious criminal offenses. Even if the government had not offered certain protections to Dreamers, it would still violate every concept of fairness to cruelly deport people who have made America their home to countries that many of them have had no contact with since they were infants or toddlers.
Click the link below to join The Committees' Judge Not Initiative. Tell your federal and state representatives to stop unconstitutional deportations. Encourage faith leaders in your community to offer sanctuary to those facing unconstitutional deportations.
Now is your time to step up and protect your friends, neighbors, and communities!