News stories
U.S. Immigration
Careers & Jobs
Travel & Tourism
Community Forums
Listen to Radio
Watch video clips
U.S. Immigration
United States Immigration column and commentaries
FEB 2007: Manila Should Not Have Gone Through All the Trouble to Get NCLEX Site
FEB 2007: File now Before Sharp Rise in USCIS Fees
FEB 2007: Consulates No Longer Authorized to Adjudicate I-130s
JAN 2007: Personal Interview Now Required For Visa Applicants
DEC 2006: Proposed Visa Screen Blanket Denial is Unfair
NOV 2006: Hardship waiver of the two year J-1 Residency
JUN 2006: Senate Passes Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill
APR 2006: Compromise Bill Emerges Despite Senate Bickering
MAR 2006: Immigration Reform: Looking beyond border patrols for answers
MAR 2003: Immigrant Visa Processing of Foreign Nurses
JAN 2003: Asylum and the Child Status Protection Act
DEC 2002: Recalculating Age for purposes of relief
NOV 2002: New relief for "Age-Out" cases
FEB 2002: Update: Child Citizenship Act of 2001
JAN 2002: Tips: Preparing your "B" visitor extension requests
DEC 2001: The U.S. economic downturn: How the non-immigrant can weather the storm
NOV 2001: Possible immigration consequences of the events of Sep. 11, 2001
APR 2000: Business immigration
MAR 2000: Employment-based adjustment applicants
FEB 2000: INS clarifies status of H1B woker while on leave
JAN 2000: Immediate opening for nurses
DEC 1999: Practical tips in dealing with the US consulate in Manila
NOV 1999: INS Processing delays and how to live with them
OCT 1999: How to maximize your changes of obtaining a B2 tourist visa
SEP 1999: In the aftermath of  245(i) who benefits?


Freelance Jobs
Edition:  Ģ FLORIDA   o  METRO (DC-MD-VA-NY)
Be seen by 1.5 million hiring managers instantly!



New Laws Granting Local Law Enforcement Authority to Enforce Immigration Laws May Spur Lawsuits

By Attorneys Bruce A. Coane and James P. McCollom, Jr.
  A hotly debated issue around the country is whether local law enforcement agencies should have authority to enforce U.S. immigration laws. Such authority would give local law enforcement the right to question people regarding their immigration status.
Bruce A. Coane    

Many commentators have voiced concerned that such laws will in fact promote crime because non-citizens will be afraid to report criminals. A secondary issue that has not been widely discussed is the probable consequence of such a law that people who have a “foreign appearance” might be falsely arrested.

Imagine, for example, that an individual who has an Asian appearance is stopped by the police in a locality where there is such a law. It is possible that in that locality, the law enforcement officer might ask such an individual about his or her citizenship status solely because that individual has an Asian appearance.

It is also possible that an individual with an Asian appearance might then be arrested if the officer believes that the individual is violating U.S. immigration laws. The officer might fail to conduct a proper investigation.


The local law enforcement officer might make a mistake and arrest the individual with the Asian appearance not realizing that the individual is actually a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. It is even possible that the officer might arrest a foreign citizen who has lawful status in the United States.

Obviously, one problem with such a law is that it might encourage the law enforcement officer to make a decision based on race. That is, any individual with an Asian appearance might automatically become a suspect.

The other problem may be that the local law enforcement officer does not have expertise regarding U.S. immigration laws although he or she might have been trained to attempt to accomplish the task.

If the local law enforcement officer arrests a person with an Asian appearance for a violation of U.S. immigration laws and it turns out that the person arrested was a U.S. citizen, then it is possible that a Court might conclude that such an arrest constituted negligence or false imprisonment.


A U.S. citizen, in that instance, might then file a lawsuit against the law enforcement authority for negligence or false imprisonment.

In all lawsuits against a government entity, the plaintiff must first demonstrate that the government has enacted a law allowing a plaintiff to sue the government. That is, normally an individual may not sue the government because the government is immune from suit.

If the law enforcement agency is negligent or commits the intentional tort of false imprisonment, then a plaintiff may be able to file a lawsuit under local state law, or possibly, the Federal Tort Claims Act.

It is thus possible that one effect of new laws granting such broad power to local law enforcement officers might be that individuals who are “foreign-looking” might be unjustly arrested. As a result, these individuals may now be able to successfully sue the government.

Bruce A. Coane is Board Certified in Immigration and Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. The law firm of Coane & Associates has offices at 407 Lincoln Road, Suite 306, Miami Beach, Florida 33139, Tel. (786) 457-VISA (8472). The law firm website is The law firm email is James P. McCollom, Jr. is an associate attorney at the firm


CallWave Free Trial - Click Here!
Pongo Resume - Better Resume = Better Job



To Advertise please E-mail ads @


Search over 1 million jobs
Pongo Resume - Because The Best Resume Wins
Find Cars for Sale Locally at


Basta Pinoy News™, Basta Pinoy!, Asiana Post, Radio-TV Pilipino, OFWBalita Natin™ are trademarks of Basta Pinoy News Copyright © 1999-2007 Radio-TV Pilipino Network, Inc. All rights reserved.  No portion of this publication can be published in any form and any means without the written consent and permission of Basta Pinoy News Basta Pinoy“ is a Registered Trademark of Radio-TV Pilipino Network, Inc.Registered in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Terms of UsePrivacy Policy.Disclaimer. TO VERIFY CREDENTIALS OF CORRESPONDENTS or SALES REPRESENTATIVES PLEASE e-mail press @