Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Gonzales v. City of Peoria case brief

Gonzales v. City of Peoria case brief summary
722 F.2d 468 (1983)

Appellant individuals sought review from a judgment of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona, which found in favor of appellees, city and others, in appellants' claim alleging city police unlawfully stopped, questioned, and detained persons of Mexican descent. Appellants contended that enforcement of the immigration laws was a matter of exclusive federal concern precluding state or local enforcement.

Appellants filed claim against appellees alleging that the city police, acting under policies adopted by the city, engaged in the practice of stopping and arresting persons of Mexican descent without reasonable suspicion or probable cause and based only on their race and appearance. The district court rendered that judgment in favor of appellees and found that individual officers had acted in good faith and had not been motivated by racial animus. Appellants sought review, challenging appellees' authority to arrest.


  • On review, the court affirmed, finding that nothing in federal law precluded city police from enforcing the criminal provisions of the Immigration and Naturalization Act, 8 U.S.C.S. §§ 1324, 1325, and 1326. 
  • Arizona law authorized local officers to arrest for violations of 8 U.S.C.S. § 1325 where there was probable cause to believe the arrestee had illegally entered the United States. 
  • However, enforcement procedures had to distinguish illegal entry from illegal presence and comply with all constitutional arrest requirements.
The court affirmed the judgment.

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