“But Your Honor, He’s an Illegal!”

Written by:  Kevin Diduch

Separating law and politics is never easy.  In what has become one of the hot-button topics heading into the 2012 presidential election, the issue of illegal immigration is in the minds of many Americans.  An undocumented worker’s legal status, and the stereotypes that follow, has the potential to find its way into the jury box quite easily.  Has it finally been kicked out for good?  The Texas Hispanic Journal of Law and Policy recently answered this question in an article entitled, “‘But Your Honor, He’s An Illegal!’—Ruled Inadmissible and Prejudicial,” focusing on the admissibility of an undocumented worker’s immigration status at trial.

I completely agree with the article’s conclusion that the stereotypes affiliated with illegal immigration have no place in the jury box.  Although evidence pertaining to an immigrant’s status appears relevant on its face, the prejudicial effect far outweighs any probative value.  Many states, including Delaware, have reached the same conclusion.  As a conservative voter who believes in tougher immigration standards, I also believe it’s time to put aside the politics and recognize our legal system’s right to a trial free from extremely unfair prejudice.

For a link to the article, and a means of forming your own opinion, click here.

The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Widener Journal of Law, Economics & Race.


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