F- P- v. Holder - Ninth Circuit

Motions to Suppress


January 3, 2014

Long used in criminal trials, motions to suppress can lead to the exclusion of evidence obtained by the government in violation of the Fourth Amendment, Fifth Amendment, or related provisions of federal law. While the immediate purpose of filing a motion to suppress is to prevent the government from meeting its burden of proof, challenges to unlawfully obtained evidence can also deter future violations by law enforcement officers and thereby protect the rights of other noncitizens. The Supreme Court held in INS v. Lopez-Mendoza, 468 U.S. 1032 (1984), that motions to suppress evidence under the Fourth Amendment in immigration proceedings should be granted only for “egregious” violations or if violations became “widespread.” Despite this stringent standard, noncitizens have prevailed in many cases on motions to suppress.

The Council, in collaboration with Jenner and Block, has submitted amicus briefs in the First, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits. In F- P- v. Holder, the Council challenges the Board of Immigration Appeals’ denial of a motion to suppress evidence unlawfully obtained by ICE in a worksite raid.  The Council argues that ICE violated the Fourth Amendment by seizing employees during the execution of a search warrant for documents at a restaurant, where ICE sought to question the employees as to their immigration status even though officers had no particularized suspicion that they had committed any immigration violation.  Further, the Council argues that the Fourth Amendment violation was consistent with a widespread pattern of ICE raids on homes and businesses, conducted in order to detain and interrogate large numbers of individuals without individualized suspicion. 

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