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Unpub. BIA Suppression Victory: Matter of Lara-Torres (Egregious Conduct by NSA)

February 08, 2014 (1 min read)

"[T]he Immigration Judge correctly concluded that the evidence obtained by officers of the National Security Agency (NSA) on March 31, 2010, with regard to the respondent's immigration status, which prompted officers of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain the respondent and place him in removal proceedings, should be suppressed. ... We agree with the Immigration Judge that the respondent met his burden of establishing a prima facie case that suppression is warranted in his proceedings on the basis of the NSA officers' egregious conduct. ... We also agree with the Immigration Judge that the Fourth Amendment violation described by the respondent was egregious because it seemed to be based solely on race (Gonzalez-Rivera v. INS, 22 F.3d 1441, 1443 (4th Cir. 1994); see also Tr. at 14-15, 18, 27-31), and that such conduct warrants suppression of the evidence obtained. INS v. Lopez-Mendoza, supra, at 1051. The Immigration Judge made specific findings of fact on this, which are not clearly erroneous. The Immigration Judge found that while the respondent was detained, other drivers committed the same traffic violation that he had committed, yet only one other driver, also Hispanic, was questioned regarding his immigration status. Both white and black drivers were stopped briefly but were allowed to pass and no other driver received a citation for turning into the NSA facility. ... The [DHS] appeal is dismissed." - Matter of Lara-Torres, Jan. 28, 2014, unpub.

[Hats way off to Jaime Winthuysen Aparisi and Yusuf R. Ahmad!  And thanks to Ben Winograd and IRAC for collecting!]