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Every year, the U.S. government unlawfully detains a significant number of U.S. citizens and places them in immigration removal proceedings. Before the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit’s 2018 decision in Gonzalez-Alarcon v. Macias, four circuits had held that an individual in removal proceedings with a valid claim to U.S. citizenship need not exhaust administrative remedies before the claim could be subject to judicial review. With its decision in Gonzalez-Alarcon, the Tenth Circuit joined the majority of circuits that have ruled on this issue and asserted the right of such an individual to bring a habeas corpus petition in federal court to resolve the citizenship question prior to exhausting administrative remedies. This Comment analyzes the situation that the plaintiff in Gonzalez-Alarcon presented when he discovered that he had a valid claim to U.S. citizenship after having been removed several times. Further, this Comment explores the ways in which the Tenth Circuit’s decision solidifies the importance of the writ of habeas corpus in challenging executive detention and affirms the power of judicial intervention to protect individual rights in an immigration system governed by plenary power.


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6 Sep 2022
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  • Subject
    • Constitutional Law

    • Immigration Law

    • Law Enforcement and Corrections

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Law Review

  • Volume
    • 60

  • Issue
    • 9

  • Pagination
    • II.-217

  • Date submitted

    6 September 2022