The circuits are currently split as to whether undocumented immigrants are entitled to Second Amendment rights. In 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in U.S. v. Meza-Rodriguez became the first circuit to explicitly hold that undocumented immigrants are part of “the people” referred to in the U.S. Constitution. This case added to the recent explosion in Second Amendment jurisprudence, in which courts have toiled with the scope of the right and what level of scrutiny to apply to constitutional challenges. This Note argues that the U.S. Supreme Court erred in failing to grant certiorari for Meza-Rodriguez to clarify that undocumented immigrants are entitled to Second Amendment protections when they have established substantial connections to the United States. This Note discusses the shift in Second Amendment interpretation that has occurred in the last decade and how it applies to undocumented immigrants. Given similar language within the Amendments, the resolution of this circuit split has potential implications for the First and Fourth Amendments, which protect millions of undocumented immigrants from government abuse.
Civil Rights and Discrimination
- Journal title
Boston College Law Review
- Date submitted
8 September 2022