The fundamental constitutional protections of due process and equal protection embodied in our Constitution and Bill of Rights apply to every "person" and are not limited to citizens. The framers of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as well as the authors and ratifiers of post-Civil War amendments all understood the essential importance of protecting non-citizens against governmental abuse and discrimination.
Our nation has unquestioned authority to control its borders and to regulate immigration. But we must exercise the awesome power to exclude or deport immigrants consistent with the rule of law, the fundamental norms of humanity and the requirements of the Constitution.
Upholding the rights of immigrants is important to us all. When the government has the power to deny legal rights and due process to one vulnerable group, everyone's rights are at risk. Non-citizens are often the first and most vulnerable targets of government abuse.