Immigration Law

CA2 on Egregious 4th Am. Violation: Zuniga-Perez v. Sessions

Zuniga-Perez v. Sessions - "Petitioners Juan Martin Zuniga‐Perez and Elder Hernandez‐Ocampo seek review of a March 10, 2017, decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (the ʺBIAʺ) affirming a February 24, 2016, decision of an immigration judge (the ʺIJʺ) denying ‐‐ without a hearing ‐‐ their motion to suppress evidence.  In re Zuniga‐Perez, Hernandez‐Ocampo, Nos. A 201 218 867/868 (B.I.A. Mar. 10, 2017), aff’g Nos. A 201 218 867/868 (Immig. Ct. Buffalo Feb. 24, 2016).  Petitioners, citizens of Mexico residing in upstate New York, were arrested during a search of their residence by law enforcement officers purportedly looking for a criminal suspect pursuant to a ʺfelony search warrant.ʺ    In removal proceedings before the IJ, both petitioners moved to suppress the evidence obtained during the search, arguing that the search violated the Fourth Amendment because it was conducted without a warrant, consent, or exigent circumstances, and, even assuming the existence of a warrant, the search exceeded its scope.  Although petitioners submitted affidavits in support of their motion, the IJ denied the motion, without holding a suppression hearing.  The question presented is whether the IJ should have held an evidentiary hearing in light of the evidence submitted by petitioners.  We hold ‐4‐  that because petitioners made a sufficient showing of an egregious constitutional violation, they were entitled to a suppression hearing."

[Hats off to Anne E. Doebler!]