Does the Fourth Amentment's Exclusionary Rule Extend to Civil Deportation Proceedings ?
In INS v. Lopez-Mendoza, 468 U.S. 1032, 82 L. Ed. 2d 778, 104 S. Ct. 3479 (1984), the Supreme Court addressed the question of whether the "Fourth Amendment's exclusionary rule should be extended to civil deportation proceedings." United States v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 U.S. 259, 272, 108 L. Ed. 2d 222, 110 S. Ct. 1056 (1990).
In holding that the exclusionary rule did not extend to civil deportation proceedings, the Court addressed the claims of two aliens, Lopez-Mendoza and Sandoval-Sanchez, both of whom were denied protection of the exclusionary rule in their deportation proceedings.
Lopez-Mendoza claimed his arrest was illegal and, therefore, objected to his compelled presence at the deportation proceeding.
As the Court noted, Lopez-Mendoza neither objected to nor sought the suppression of evidence: "At his deportation hearing Lopez-Mendoza objected only to the fact that he had been summoned to a deportation hearing following an unlawful arrest; he entered no objection to the evidence offered against him." Lopez-Mendoza, 468 U.S. at 1040.
Lopez-Mendoza essentially claimed that his illegal arrest operated to deprive the immigration court of jurisdiction over his person.
It was in the context of this claim, and not a claim to suppress evidence, that the Court issued the language relied upon by the O'Neal and Ware courts.
This distinction was highlighted by the Court in distinguishing Mendoza's claim from that raised in the consolidated case of Sandoval-Sanchez: "Respondent Sandoval-Sanchez has a more substantial claim.
He objected not to his compelled presence at a deportation proceeding, but to evidence offered at that proceeding." Lopez-Mendoza, 468 U.S. at 1040.
Moreover, unlike its treatment of Lopez-Mendoza's claim, the Court did not address the substance of Sandoval-Sanchez's evidentiary claim.
The Court instead mooted Sandoval-Sanchez's claim by holding the exclusionary rule inapplicable to civil deportation proceedings. Id. at 1050.