Amy Coney Barrett on Immigration



Counting undocumented is long-standing Census practice

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration, along with other Catholic organizations, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in [the Supreme Court case Trump v. New York], arguing that excluding those without legal documentation from the apportionment base of the census sends a message that these individuals are not equal members of the human family, which contradicts the dignity of all people and violates the U.S. Constitution and the Census Act.

Since the census started in 1790, its practice has been to count all people living in the U.S. Currently, an estimated 11 million unauthorized immigrants are living in this country. The point of counting everyone was raised by Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who told the Acting Solicitor General who was representing the Trump administration: "A lot of the historical evidence and long-standing practice really cuts against your position."

Source: Catholic News Service on USCCB amicus, "Trump v New York" , Nov 30, 2020

Let embassies abroad reject visas for any reason

Judge Barrett authored a panel opinion in Yafai v. Pompeo, rejecting a U.S. citizen's challenge to the denial of his wife's visa by a consular officer at the U.S. embassy in Yemen. The record in the case did not indicate what evidence led the consular officer to deny the visa, and Judge Barrett's opinion did not require the government to supply such evidence.

A dissenting judge would have required the government to "point to some factual support for the consular officer's decision." Under Supreme Court precedent, however, visa denials are subject to only a very limited level of review by federal courts, even when U.S. citizens challenge the denials on constitutional grounds. Nonetheless, Supreme Court precedent is arguably unclear about the circumstances for factual support before rejecting challenges to visa denials.

Judge Barrett's decision in Yafai may suggest that she takes an expansive view of executive exclusion authority and a narrower view of the federal judiciary's role.

Source: Cong. Research Service (p.45) on SCOTUS Confirmation Hearing , Oct 6, 2020

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Other Justices on Immigration: Amy Coney Barrett on other issues:
Samuel Alito(since 2006)
Amy Coney Barrett(since 2020)
Stephen Breyer(since 1994)
Neil Gorsuch(since 2017)
Ketanji Brown Jackson(nominated 2022)
Elena Kagan(since 2010)
Brett Kavanaugh(since 2018)
John Roberts(since 2005)
Sonia Sotomayor(since 2009)
Clarence Thomas(since 1991)

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Merrick Garland(nominated 2016)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg(1993-2020)
Anthony Kennedy(1988-2018)
Antonin Scalia(1986-2016)
John Paul Stevens(1975-2010)
David Souter(1990-2009)
Sandra Day O'Connor(1981-2006)
William Rehnquist(1975-2005)

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Page last updated: Mar 20, 2022