The chicano/illegal-alien civil liberties interface

by Arturo Gandara

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Examines how concern over illegal Mexican migration has resulted in judicial and statutory responses that constrain the constitutional and civil rights of Chicanos. The author reviews major Supreme Court decisions which resulted in judicial approval of violations of the fourth amendment right of persons to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures if those persons appear to be of Mexican ancestry. Also reviewed is the Carter amnesty plan which intends to make hiring of illegal aliens unlawful, thereby raising Chicano concern that employers would be deterred from hiring Chicanos as well. The Carter plan addresses this concern by calling for full enforcement of existing anti-discrimination laws. The author points out that the protection against employment discrimination offered by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or the broader Act of 1866 is insufficient or uncertain and that the Carter plan should be modified to include specific statutory protection against such discrimination.

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