Bivens Basics: An Introductory Guide for Immigration Attorneys


July 19, 2021

Under the Supreme Court’s decision in Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), individuals—including noncitizens or those whom the government perceives to be noncitizens—may have access to a judicial remedy for conduct by federal agents that violates the U.S. Constitution. Although litigating Bivens claims in the immigration context has become increasingly challenging in recent years, a successful claim could result in compensatory and/or punitive damages as well as injunctive relief.  

This practice advisory provides an overview of the Supreme Court’s decision in Bivens, the benefits and risks of bringing a Bivens claim, and practical and legal information about filing a Bivens claim in federal court. Lastly, the advisory discusses issues and arguments arising in Bivens litigation in the immigration context, including the Supreme Court’s decision in Ziglar v. Abassi, 137 S. Ct. 1843 (2017).

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