America’s Forgotten History of Illegal Deportations – The Atlantic
Dunn, however, spent nearly three years doing archival research, enlisting his state senate staff to comb through federal, state and local records in a bid to reconcile California’s tortured legacy. He feels confident in his citation of 1.8 million people deported. “That number came out of several documents we got from the federal government,” he told me.
Beyond the travesty inflicted upon hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens, the Mexican deportations of the 1920s and 1930s are also shocking—and at this moment, particularly enlightening—for the illegalities visited upon non-citizens. Trump is unlikely to willfully deport American citizens, but he appears perilously close to replicating many of the mistakes Hoover did as it concerned the undocumented. And given the number of mixed-status families in the U.S.—as of 2015, 16.6 million Americans lived in residences with at least one undocumented immigrant—these deportations will affect citizens and non-citizens alike.
Johnson said that in hindsight, it is clear Hoover’s deportations were a violation of “several constitutional rights,” including the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause and the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable search and seizure.
“Now it’s very clear that some of those provisions apply to immigrants in the U.S. The Supreme Court has made very clear that as long as you’re in the U.S., you have a right to due process and hearing. That doesn’t mean you can’t be removed,” said Johnson. “But you have the ability to retain counsel.”