Supreme Court Decisions on Immigration Policy


"The biggest problem is the fact that the Supreme Court's ability to review decisions is extremely limited. By way of explanation, consider a football game. At any National Football League game, there are seven officials, and 22 players on the field at any time, 11 for each team. While the game is played upon a rectangular field, 360 feet in length and 160 feet in width, the number of officials allows any given one to keep a reasonable watch on the actions of a limited number of the players for fouls.

Now imagine that there were only one official for those 22 players. The number of holds, clips, trips, illegal shifts, offsides, encroachments, false starts, and even delays of games would increase exponentially. That is more or less the situation that exists in our federal court structure, where nine justices of the Supreme Court must correct the errors made by the judges of 13 courts of appeal."

- Andrew R. Arthur, CIS Resident Fellow in Law & Policy



"The Supreme Court has held that deportation is not punishment, but rather an administrative procedure whereby an illegal alien is returned to his homeland. The alien has not been deprived of life, liberty, or property, so many constitutional protections do not apply.

Most important to the discussion is the fact that most detainees facing deportation are dealing with administrative charges in a civil process, rather than criminal. Consequently they do not have a constitutional right to an attorney; such protections only apply to criminal law."

- Jon D. Feere, Legal Policy Analyst