Rajah v. Mukasey

544 F.3d 427 (2008)

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Rajah v. Mukasey

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
544 F.3d 427 (2008)

Facts

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, were facilitated by certain aliens who were unlawfully present in the United States in violation of immigration laws. The perpetrators were adult men from predominantly Muslim countries. Following the attacks, the United States attorney general, Michael Mukasey (plaintiff), instituted a program called the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS). NSEERS required the collection of data from aliens upon entry and periodic registration of certain aliens present in the United States. A special part of the program required alien males from specified predominantly Muslim countries who were over the age of 16 and who did not qualify for permanent residence to appear at a government facility for registration and fingerprinting. People who were 16 and under, women, and individuals who qualified for permanent residence had no obligations under NSEERS. If the appearing aliens could not establish a lawful immigration status upon questioning, deportation proceedings were initiated. A group of impacted aliens (the aliens) (defendants) appeared at a government facility pursuant to NSEERS for registration and interrogation. The aliens were patted down for weapons, questioned by officials, and unable to establish a lawful immigration status. Some of the aliens were briefly detained in holding cells while awaiting receipt of a notice to appear for their removal hearings. The aliens petitioned the court of appeals for relief, arguing that NSEERS was unlawful or unconstitutional or that the aliens were selectively prosecuted. It was undisputed that the aliens were in the country unlawfully and deportable.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Winter, J.)

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