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Associated Press: Lawsuit Targets Searches of Electronic Devices at U.S. Border

The Associated Press reports that a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday claims the U.S. government’s growing practice of searching laptops and cellphones at the border is unconstitutional because electronic devices now carry troves of private personal and business information. The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, and requires law enforcement to secure warrants based on probable cause. Courts, however, have made an exception for searches at U.S. ports of entry and airports, ruling that the government can conduct warrantless border searches to enforce immigration and customs laws and protect national security.

Immigration Detainers and 4th Amendment meet

The Associated Press reports on the recent First Circuit decision in a lawsuit alleging Fourth Amendment violations, finding that federal immigration authorities must have probable cause to issue an immigration detainer. The ruling affirmed last year’s decision by a federal judge in Rhode Island, who denied summary judgment on the basis of qualified immunity to an ICE agent and his supervisors who allegedly detained the naturalized U.S. citizen plaintiff in 2009 without probable cause.

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