Washington International Law Journal


United States v. Brignoni-Ponce solidified the racist enforcement of United States immigration laws by allowing “Mexican appearance” to be a factor forming reasonable suspicion in a roving patrol. The United States Supreme Court rationalized race-based immigration enforcement by relying on erroneous immigration demographics and a misconstrued notion of serving the public interest. This comment demonstrates that the rationales provided by the Supreme Court are illogical, discriminatory, and harmful to communities of color. This comment analyzes the impacts of race-based discrimination and provides alternatives which may cabin the impact of Brignoni-Ponce. Aside from overruling Brignoni-Ponce in its entirety, a probable cause or warrant requirement could be added, either through legislative or judicial action, so as to bolster the Fourth Amendment rights of citizens and noncitizens alike.

First Page