The Lopez-Mendoza decision upheld very minimal application of Fourth Amendment rights to deportation proceedings, thereby allowing immigration officials to use some improperly acquired evidence when deciding whether noncitizens should be expelled from the country.
In 1976 and 1977, Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) officials arrested Adan Lopez-Mendoza and Elias Sandoval-Sanchez, respectively, at their place of employment. Authorities disregarded rules based on the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. After both men admitted to INS officials that they had unlawfully entered the country from Mexico, their deportation was ordered in separate proceedings. On administrative appeal, the
By a 5-4 majority, however, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the
Aleinikoff, Thomas A., et al. Immigration and Citizenship: Process and Policy. 6th ed. St. Paul, Minn.: Thomson/West, 2008. McFeatters, Ann C. Sandra Day O’Connor: Justice in the Balance. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2006.
Supreme Court, U.S.