Since undocumented immigrants cannot legally obtain driverâ€™s licenses in many states, 287(g) and Secure Communities invite racial profiling of Hispanics through license checkpoints and traffic patrols. â€œIf the only charge they could find to put on a driver is driving while license revoked,â€ says Elizabeth Simpson, an immigration lawyer with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice who is representing Gomez pro bono, â€œI have to wonder why they pulled him over in the first place.â€
took on the case in December, Gomez had to prepare his
own pleadings. â€œApparently he
was convincing enough that the judge kept giving him more time,â€ Simpson
says, â€œwhich is actually fairly remarkable.â€
Simpsonâ€™s defense emphasizes the circumstances of Gomezâ€™s arrest.
has the burden of proving he
is an illegal immigrant, but any evidence it might present could have come only from an unjustified line of questioning by the Raleigh police officers, who have no authority to enforce immigration law.
wants a hearing on whether any of that evidence is admissible.
At a recent hearing, Simpson
says, Cassidy considered her arguments for suppressing the evidence and terminating the removal process.
thinks Gomezâ€™s alleged beating could be the factor that temporarily gains him legal status in the United States.