Last updated: Apr. 5, 2023
Over the past two years, federal defenders have begun challenging the laws that criminalize crossing the border — 8 U.S.C. § 1325 and 8 USC § 1326 — on the grounds that the law is racist, and therefore unconstitutional. Recently, in a case called United States v. Carrillo Lopez (“Carrillo-Lopez”), Judge Miranda Du in the District of Nevada agreed with this argument and granted a motion to dismiss a criminal case against a person charged with the crime of crossing the border after being previously deported. This explainer will summarize the argument that these laws are racist, discuss Judge Du’s groundbreaking decision, and provide a chart tracking other challenges to these laws.