Are U.S. Constitutional Rights for the World?

Press Releases

May 31, 2024

IRLI shows court Haitian expulsions were constitutional

WASHINGTON—The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) has filed a brief in D.C. federal district court in a case in which Haitian nationals, in an amended complaint, claim that their Fifth Amendment rights to equal protection and to due process were violated when they were turned away at the border to protect the nation from the COVID-19 pandemic.

As IRLI shows in its brief supporting the federal government’s motion to dismiss, the Haitians’ case is notably weak. First, IRLI shows that it is well-established law that aliens who have never been admitted to our country, such as the plaintiffs here, do not have rights under our Constitution.

Second, even if they had such rights, the plaintiffs’ claim that the Biden Administration expelled them pursuant to a “Haitian deterrence policy,” in violation of their right to equal protection of the law, would founder because they fail to provide any evidence that such a policy actually exists. In fact, aliens entering the country unlawfully have been expelled without regard to nationality.

Third, the plaintiffs claim that the health-code expulsions violate their due-process right to apply for asylum and to receive statutory protections against being expelled to a country where they face either persecution on account of group membership or torture. Yet, as IRLI shows, none of the plaintiffs even claims that he was expelled to a country where he faced such threats, or that he tried to apply for asylum and was prevented from doing so.

“Anti-borders activists, once again, are pushing their idea that our Constitution was written for the world and everyone in it,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “They want that to be the case, because then aliens can sue themselves into the country regardless of what laws we pass and try to enforce. In fact, of course, America, just like any other country, has an inherent right to decide who may enter the country from abroad and who may not, and we did not saddle ourselves with a Constitution that takes away this right. The Supreme Court has recognized this national right to self-determination again and again, and we hope the district court also acknowledges it, and dismisses this case.”

The case is Haitian Bridge Alliance v. Biden, No. 1:21-cv-03317 (D.D.C.).

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