Ruth Bader Ginsberg Immigration - Silver Immigration

Ruth Bader Ginsburg Immigration

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away last week and left behind a legacy that rivals any historical figure in recent memory. The Justice had a long, storied history of fighting for equality and fair treatment for all. Most known for her work regarding gender-equality, she also adamantly fought for and supported immigrant rights. Here are 5 moments that show how Ruth Bader Ginsburg impacted immigration.

Naturalization Speech

In December 2018, Justice Ginsburg spoke at a Naturalization ceremony at the National Archives.

She spoke of promise, of hope, of the American Dream for all.

“We are a nation made strong by people like you: people who travelled long distances, overcame great obstacles and made tremendous sacrifices, all to provide a better life for themselves and their families.”

She also spoke about her personal experiences. Referring to herself as the daughter and granddaughter of immigrants, she told the story of her father coming to the United States at the age of 13 and her mother’s parent travelling through the famed Ellis Island.

DHS v. Regents

In 2020, Justice Ginsburg sided with the majority in DHS v. Regents. The majority found that the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program was arbitrary and capricious. DACA is a program that enables certain people who came to the U.S. as children and meet several key guidelines to remain in the country and apply for work authorization.

Demore v. Kim

In this case, Justice Ginsburg along with Justice Souter and Stevens voiced their support for the immigrant community. “The immigration laws of the land give legal permanent residents the opportunity to establish a life permanently in the US by developing economic, familial, and social ties indistinguishable from those of a citizen.” In their opinion, Ginsburg, Souter and Stevens maintained that aliens within the U.S. are entitled to protection of the Due Process Clause and due process calls for an individual determination before someone is locked away.

Zadvydas v. Davis

In 2001, Justice Ginsburg sided with the majority in a decision supporting an immigrant’s liberty interest. The majority found that the government cannot detain deportable aliens indefinitely simply for a lack of a country willing to take them.

INS v. St. Cyr

Justice Ginsburg sided with the majority in a 5-4 decision striking down the automatic deportation of a lawful permanent resident who plead guilty to a controlled substance violation. The Court found that the respondent was eligible for a waiver of deportation.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s immigration record reveals that she supported immigrant rights and equal treatment. She was a trail blazer, a brilliant legal mind and a fierce advocate. She will be missed.