Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Court Upholds Alien Monitoring Program

In a decision released today, a federal appeals court said that the post-911 "Special Call-In Registration Program" for non-immigrant aliens was lawful. The now-suspended program (see DHS fact sheet) required males over age 16 from 24 majority Muslim countries, plus North Korea, who had not qualified for permanent residence, to appear before immigration authorities for registration, fingerprinting, and to submit documents to prove they were here legally. Four individuals who Immigration Judges and the Bureau of Immigration Appeals had deemed deportable (i.e., they were determined to be illegal aliens) challenged the program on constitutional, statutory, and procedural grounds. In a 44-page decision in Rajah et al. v. Mukasey, the Manhattan-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected their claims. "The September 11 attacks were facilitated by violations of immigration laws by aliens from predominantly Muslim nations. The Program was clearly tailored to those facts," the court wrote. One of the men will get a new hearing on his deportation order, however.

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