A federal appeals court has reversed a ruling in Snowfall that he had struck down an old federal deportation law as racist and unconstitutional.
The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said in its decision Monday that Section 1326 of the Immigration and Nationality Act — which makes it a crime to return to the United States after deportation, removal, or denial of entry — “is neutral in itself the racial aspect.
The ruling is a setback for activists who had hoped to see major changes to the country’s immigration system after federal judge Miranda Du threw out an illegal re-entry charge against a Mexican immigrant more than two years ago. Du she said she had dismissed the case because Section 1326 of said law had violated the constitutional rights of Gustavo Carrillo López and discriminated against Latinos.
“We are deeply disappointed in the Ninth Circuit ruling upholding Section 1326, a discriminatory law that continues to fuel the large-scale incarceration of Black and Brown people, wastes government resources, and tears families apart,” said Sirine Shebaya, executive director of the National Immigration Project.
A lawyer for Carrillo also said she was disappointed in the court’s ruling, but declined to say whether she would appeal to the court. Supreme Court federal.
“We intend to seek additional review on this very important constitutional matter,” Amy Cleary said in a statement to The Associated Press.
Du’s ruling in August 2021 was the first of its kind since the Congress made it a crime nearly a century ago to return to the United States after deportation under the Undesirable Aliens Act of 1929. Justice Department quickly appealed and continued to apply Section 1326 in various cases around the country, because Du had failed to include an injunction against the law in his order.
The federal government had previously acknowledged that the 1929 law was based on racism, but argued in December before a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit that subsequent revisions, including Section 1326, made it constitutional.
“That law, as enacted in 1952 and since modified, is constitutional in accordance with the principles of equal protection,” a Justice Department attorney told the judges. “And the district court in this case is the only one in the country to find otherwise.”
The Justice Department declined Monday to comment on the appeals court ruling.
In his ruling, Du wrote that the 1952 revision had not “cleansed up” the “racist and parochial roots” of the 1929 law, adding that amendments made to Section 1326 over the years “simply returned to the more punitive provision and expanded its scope.
From October 2021 to September 2022, the federal government’s fiscal year, 96% of the people charged with Section 1326 came from Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands.
Section 1326 and its misdemeanor counterpart, Section 1325, are among the most numerous charges brought by the federal government. Section 1325 makes it a crime to enter the United States without authorization.
Trials reached record highs in fiscal year 2019, when nearly 90,000 people were charged under Section 1325 and nearly 15,500 under Section 1326. The number of cases has declined since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the The Justice Department continues to prosecute tens of thousands of people annually for repeat trespassing.