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To whom does the US Constitution apply?

Parafly 1,135 October 4, 2007 at 12:46 PM
Just curious. I always assumed just US Citizens, but are there parts of it that extend to aliens? Are the "inalienable rights of men" available to only US Citizens?

Curious on your thoughts.
To whom do the rights of the US Constition apply?
All human beings globally (8)
16%
Only US Citizens (17)
33%
Only US Citizens and non-citizen Legal Aliens (11)
22%
All persons within the boundaries of the United States regardless of status (14)
27%
Other (please define!) (1)
2%
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#46
Quote from smegalicious View Post :
It's not really a distinction between protections granted to illegal aliens v. citizens, as the case is limited to whether Miranda is necessary when an immigration officer questions a non-citizen seeking entry into the United States. Therefore, by definition, a citizen wouldn't have this protection as it would not be necessary nor applicable.

Also, the very next sentence in the opinion (from where you stopped quoting) establishes that Miranda warnings are necessary when/if the interrogation changes from immigration matters to possible criminal matters:

Nevertheless, the alien must receive Miranda warnings, when the [immigration] inspectors questions objectively cease to have a bearing on the grounds for admissibility and instead only further a potential criminal prosecution.
The part I did quote, (sorry I didn't quote the entire case....) said:
Quote :
Accordingly, the Third Circuit has held that a customs agent
may question an alien about her admissibility to the United
States without giving her Miranda warnings, even when the customs
agent begins to suspect the alien is guilty of criminal behavior.
Don't you find that a bit unusual?

Would that be true in any other questioning scenario?

Or aren't law enforcement normally required to admonish when the questioning begins to lead to evidence of criminal behavior?




Confused
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#47
Quote from Elmer View Post :
Don't you find that a bit unusual?

Would that be true in any other questioning scenario?

Or aren't law enforcement normally required to admonish when the questioning begins to lead to evidence of criminal behavior?

Confused
I'm not sure I understand the question...

Even in any other "questioning scenario", LEOs aren't required to administer Mirnada rights merely because they "begin to suspect the person is guilty of criminal behavior." For example, a cop may *suspect* that I'm guilty of DUI based on erratic driving, but s/he doesn't have to immediately Mirandize me upon pulling me over and before asking me for my name & address.

In the case of aliens presenting themselves before INS/HS for entry into the US, there's no initial reason for an immigration officer to suspect criminal conduct or to otherwise "interrogate" the alien. Instead, more benign questioning is done to see if the alien has valid entry papers, might qualify for asylum, etc. Only once the questioning shifts its focus to interrogation re: a possible criminal matter are Miranda rights required.

Sorry if I'm repeating myself, but as I stated earlier, I'm not sure if I properly understood what you were asking. Dontknow
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#48
Quote from smegalicious View Post :
I'm not sure I understand the question...

Even in any other "questioning scenario", LEOs aren't required to administer Mirnada rights merely because they "begin to suspect the person is guilty of criminal behavior." For example, a cop may *suspect* that I'm guilty of DUI based on erratic driving, but s/he doesn't have to immediately Mirandize me upon pulling me over and before asking me for my name & address.

In the case of aliens presenting themselves before INS/HS for entry into the US, there's no initial reason for an immigration officer to suspect criminal conduct or to otherwise "interrogate" the alien. Instead, more benign questioning is done to see if the alien has valid entry papers, might qualify for asylum, etc. Only once the questioning shifts its focus to interrogation re: a possible criminal matter are Miranda rights required.

Sorry if I'm repeating myself, but as I stated earlier, I'm not sure if I properly understood what you were asking. Dontknow

No, I understand the difference in a "stop" and an arrest.

I just find the scenario somewhat intriguing, where it is a custodial situation, and yet the court did rule that a customs agent may "question an alien about her admissibility to the United States without giving her Miranda warnings, even when the customs agent begins to suspect the alien is guilty of criminal behavior."

Perhaps it's not based on case law, but just common practice, but I believe that most law enforcement officers, when interviewing someone, and the information the officer develops would reasonably indicate the person will likely be arrested, they will discontinue the "interview" and Mirandize, before continuing the questioning.

But........ I could be wrong.............
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#49
Quote from Elmer View Post :
Perhaps it's not based on case law, but just common practice, but I believe that most law enforcement officers, when interviewing someone, and the information the officer develops would reasonably indicate the person will likely be arrested, they will discontinue the "interview" and Mirandize, before continuing the questioning.

But........ I could be wrong.............
Typically, it has nothing to do with the likelihood of arrest. If it's an interrogation re: a criminal matter done while in the custody of LEO, Miranda rights should be provided prior to start of questioning.

Whether or not to Mirandize has nothing to do with the actual answers the person might provide to police or the guilt/innocence of that person.

IMHO, the court here likened immigration officers questioning an alien re: entry to other LEOs asking for a person's basic information (name, age, DOB, etc). It's information that, given the circumstances, is not probative of any criminal matter.

But I could be wrong, too. Wink

Also, in an attempt to bring this around a bit to the original OP, even if this case serves as a limited restriction on an alien's Miranda rights at a point of entry, it still stands that many (if not most) Constitutional protections do extend to non-citizens & even illegal aliens.
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#50
Quote from smegalicious View Post :
IMHO, the court here likened immigration officers questioning an alien re: entry to other LEOs asking for a person's basic information (name, age, DOB, etc). It's information that, given the circumstances, is not probative of any criminal matter.
Except that it is criminal behavior, and the immigration officer's main purpose is probing for that very behavior.............

So I still say the court is making some kind of distinction here........


Quote from smegalicious View Post :
Also, in an attempt to bring this around a bit to the original OP, even if this case serves as a limited restriction on an alien's Miranda rights at a point of entry, it still stands that many (if not most) Constitutional protections do extend to non-citizens & even illegal aliens.

Under most current interpretations, yes........

But, that could change.......


Cool
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#51
Quote from Elmer View Post :
Except that it is criminal behavior, and the immigration officer's main purpose is probing for that very behavior.............

So I still say the court is making some kind of distinction here........
How is merely presenting oneself for entry into the US at a designated point of entry automatically criminal behavior? Isn't that what people (citizens, LPRs, aliens, etc) are supposed to do when attempting to enter into the US?

IMHO, there is a distinction, but only as to exactly when Miranda must be given. Immigration officers are allowed to do some basic questioning regarding admissibility w/o Mirandizing, but that is all. For example, in the case you cited, the immigration officer was authorized to ask the person seeking entry certain questions regarding her admissibility, but not about any prior work history in the US (which would be a criminal matter given her status at the time). The officer crossed the line from permitted admissibility questions to a criminal interrogation w/o proper Miranda instruction.

Quote :
Under most current interpretations, yes........

But, that could change.......


Cool
Anything in the Constitution *could* change. Wink
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#52
From a philosophical standpoint, should the Constitution apply to everyone?
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#53
Quote from redmaxx View Post :
From a philosophical standpoint, should the Constitution apply to everyone?
Sort of a question deserving of its own thread, don't you think?

And who would "everyone" be? It doesn't apply to everyone now. It applies to the US Government.
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#54
Quote from redmaxx View Post :
From a philosophical standpoint, should the Constitution apply to everyone?
Do you mean should every government adopt the US Constitution or that the protections offered (and rights protected) by the Constitution apply to every person without discriminating between US Citizens and non-US Citizens? Either way, the question is Confused

PS: Nevermind. I think I know where you're going with this. And, rip is right, it deserves its own thread.
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#55
Quote from Neo Tocqueville View Post :
Do you mean should every government adopt the US Constitution or that should the US government apply the US Constitution to every person without discriminating between US Citizens and non-US Citizens? Either way, the question appears a strawman to me. Confused
The Constitution embodies the rights and principles we hold dear, so philosophically, should we apply them to everyone or, should everyone have the rights guaranteed by our Constitution?

How is it a straw man? Confused I haven't claimed any sort of victory, I'm just asking a question.

I MA'd my post, we'll see if they break it off or if I should start a new thread.
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#56
Hey, it got broken off. Thanks Wu! wave

Basically what I'm asking is: Should we apply the principles we hold most dear to everyone, or reserve them for ourselves?
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web Entrepreneur
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Original Poster
#57
If you mean US Citizens vs. Non US Citizens, I think the constitution applies to US CITIZENS.

Did the constitution apply to British soldiers in the revolutionary war? Confused
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web Entrepreneur
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Original Poster
#58
Bump
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#59
Quote from Parafly9 View Post :
If you mean US Citizens vs. Non US Citizens, I think the constitution applies to US CITIZENS.

Did the constitution apply to British soldiers in the revolutionary war? Confused
Uh, no. It wasn't written yet. Revolutionary War 1775-1783. United States Constitution, adopted 1787.
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#60
In what context should we apply this question? Are we asking should people that are in the custody of the United States but are not citizens be afforded the same rights as citizens before the law?
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