Blog of Rights

DHS Releases Disappointing Civil Liberties Report on Border Searches of Laptops and Other Electronics

DHS Releases Disappointing Civil Liberties Report on Border Searches of Laptops and Other Electronics

By Brian Hauss, Legal Fellow, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 3:49pm
In response to an ACLU Freedom of Information Act request, the Department of Homeland Security has at long last released its December 2011 Civil Rights/Civil Liberties Impact Assessment of its policy of conducting suspicionless searches of electronic devices at the border. Because of the sensitive, personal nature of the records we all carry with us on our laptops and phones, both the First and Fourth Amendments prohibit the government from searching these devices at the border, absent reasonable suspicion that a search will turn up evidence of wrongdoing.
U.S. Citizen Wrongfully Deported to Mexico, Settles His Case Against the Federal Government

U.S. Citizen Wrongfully Deported to Mexico, Settles His Case Against the Federal Government

By Esha Bhandari, Equal Justice Works Fellow, ACLU at 12:15pm

Mark Lyttle, an American citizen with mental disabilities who was wrongfully detained and deported to Mexico and forced to live on the streets and in prisons for months, settled his case against the federal government this week.

Lyttle will…

Documents Shed Light on Border Laptop Searches

Documents Shed Light on Border Laptop Searches

By Brian Hauss, Legal Fellow, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 6:24pm

The case of David Miranda got a lot of attention around the world after UK authorities were accused of abusing an anti-terrorism law to evade the normal constitutional restrains on police power and question someone because of their political associations.…

Operation Streamline

Operation Streamline

By Kung Li, Campaign for an Accountable, Moral, and Balanced Immigration Overhaul at 2:58pm

To understand Operation Streamline, it helps to visit the Judge Roy Bean Saloon & Museum, 60 miles north of Del Rio. This corner of Texas needed a local justice of the peace in the 1880s and Roy Bean took the job. Bean deemed his saloon a courthouse and dispensed what the state's tourism department now describes as "his own brand of justice…with strange, but expedient decisions..."

Historic Decision Recognizing Right to Counsel for Group of Immigration Detainees

Historic Decision Recognizing Right to Counsel for Group of Immigration Detainees

By Esha Bhandari, Equal Justice Works Fellow, ACLU & Carmen Iguina, Equal Justice Works Fellow, ACLU of Southern California at 11:22am

In a landmark ruling yesterday, Federal District Judge Dolly M. Gee ordered the federal government to provide legal representation for immigrant detainees in California, Arizona and Washington who have serious mental disabilities and are unable to…

What’s Next for Arizona’s SB 1070 and Other Copycat Laws

What’s Next for Arizona’s SB 1070 and Other Copycat Laws

By Cecillia Wang, ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project at 6:05pm

The Supreme Court handed down a mixed decision Monday for Arizona and the handful of states that have copied its anti-immigrant law, SB 1070. Striking down three of the four provisions at issue in Arizona v. United States, the Justices affirmed the…

Mandatory E-Verify: A Giant Plunge Into a National ID System

Mandatory E-Verify: A Giant Plunge Into a National ID System

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 12:23pm

Today's release of an immigration reform proposal from the Gang of Eight raises a host of civil liberties issues, many of which the ACLU will undoubtedly be commenting on in the coming days and weeks.

Today, I'm focusing on our concerns with…

Criminalizing Immigrants: Unlawful and Harmful to the Public

By Caroline Cincotta, Immigrants' Rights Project at 5:33pm

The ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project has released an issue brief on the criminalization of undocumented immigrants. In recent years, states and localities around the country have increasingly attempted to use state and local laws to impose criminal…

Time to End Impunity for US-Mexico Border Killings

Time to End Impunity for US-Mexico Border Killings

By Vicki B. Gaubeca, ACLU of New Mexico at 1:08pm

Yesterday, the world marked International Migrants Day, providing an opportunity to reflect on global efforts to respect and protect migrants' human rights. It is particularly appropriate for us to call attention to U.S. government failure to protect…

Mother Faces Deportation for Having Barking Dogs

Mother Faces Deportation for Having Barking Dogs

By Jennie Pasquarella, ACLU of Southern California & Axel Caballero, Cuéntame at 2:20pm

Where would you expect to find half-a-dozen patrol cars on New Year's Eve? In Bakersfield, California, ranked in the highest ten percent of the most violent cities in America, you'd hope they'd be responding to incidents of violence and preventing…