A federal appeals court has delivered bad news to Joe Biden after upholding lower court rulings asserting that Miranda rights do not extend to civil immigration arrests. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a late-month ruling reported by The Center Square, maintained that Miranda protections do not apply to migrants arrested under a civil warrant.
As reported by the Conservative Brief on Thursday, December 14, 2023, the case involved a Mexican citizen, Jose Maria Zuniga De La Cruz, who contended that he confessed to his illegal status under administrative warrant pressure.
Miranda rights, established in the 1966 case Miranda v. Arizona, safeguard suspects’ statements from use against them unless informed of their rights. The Ninth Circuit panel backed earlier decisions by an immigration judge and the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals, rejecting Zuniga’s appeal.
The court emphasized the substantial distinctions between civil deportation proceedings and criminal trials, deeming Miranda warnings inappropriate in deportation contexts
Zuniga, detained by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) through an administrative warrant, argued that his un-Mirandized statements should be excluded. The court, however, underscored that the nature of the proceeding (civil vs. criminal) rather than the arrest’s nature (with or without a warrant) is pertinent.
While all three judges concurred with the ruling, Circuit Judge Salvador Mendoza, appointed by President Biden, suggested informing noncitizens of their rights despite Miranda’s criminal focus.
In contrast, Circuit Judge Daniel Bress, a Trump appointee and lead author of the opinion, contended that creating new rights for illegal migrants based on Miranda lacks a legal foundation.
Meanwhile, another immigration-related development unfolded in September. U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Texas reaffirmed his ruling against the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
This program, shielding migrants brought illegally as children from deportation, faced legal challenges. Hanen declared that the revised version failed to meet legal or constitutional standards, reiterating his decision after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld it.
Hanen emphasized the vacating of the DACA program and enjoined the Department of Homeland Security from implementing Final Rule DACA.
The judge’s decision echoed the sentiment that legal battles continue to shape the landscape of immigration policies, underscoring the ongoing complexities and debates surrounding the rights of migrants in the United States.
In the broader context of immigration policy, these legal developments highlight the ongoing tension between individual rights and national security concerns.
The differing perspectives among judges underscore the complexity of crafting policies that balance the rights of noncitizens with the government’s duty to regulate immigration.
As legal battles persist, the evolving landscape continues to shape the rights and protections afforded to migrants, contributing to the broader discourse on immigration reform in the United States.