Arizona, Obama, & the Fourteenth Amendment

I am not a lawyer. I don’t know the answer to the question I’m about to pose.

When the Supreme Court upheld the portion of Arizona’s law that allowed police to check immigration status, the Obama administration immediately ended all 287(g) agreements in that State.

Now, those agreements delegate the enforcement of immigration laws to non-Federal police agencies. As of now, immigration laws can be enforced by non-Federal agencies in 23 other States. (Scroll down at link for the list of States and agencies.)

The Fourteenth Amendment has been interpreted to mean that “equal protection” requires that laws be enforced equally. See, for instance, Yick Wo v. Hopkins, 118 U.S.356 (1886).

Does this mean that someone arrested by the LA County Sheriff’s Office for an immigration violation can now seek protection under the Fourteenth Amendment? Or perhaps the Fifth Amendment, if the violation of the person’s rights is believed to have been committed by the Federal government?


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