Immigrants Facing Removal Can be Detained Indefinitely

March 6, 2018 5:40 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Major Immigration Ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that immigrants who are waiting to be removed from the country can be held indefinitely without a bail hearing. ICE usually holds immigrants facing removal in an immigration detention facility, which is like a jail. The people in these jails may have come to the country without permission. Or they be may have come here legally but then they did something wrong. For example, maybe they committed a certain type of crime, or stayed past what their visa allowed.

A judge will eventually decide if ICE can send these people back to their home country. It can take a long time get a hearing. Even if the judge orders removal, it can take ICE a long time to do it.  Sometimes all of this takes years. The question for the Supreme Court was whether judges can ever release these immigrants on bail. If so, how often should the judge review the bail?

The “Liberal” Ninth Circuit

The Ninth Circuit is a court  one step lower than the Supreme Court. Some critics consider the Ninth Circuit too liberal. President Trump himself recently complained that “nothing’s as bad as the Ninth Circuit.”  On this issue the Ninth Circuit previously decided that people being held in these immigration jails should get a bail hearing every six months.

Indefinite Detention

Sadly, the Supreme Court disagreed. The Court held that ICE never needs to give bail hearings to immigrants held in immigration jails. This means that ICE can hold such people indefinitely with no right to judicial review. In our view, this is wrong. Now that the Supreme Court has made decision, only Congress can reverse it by passing new law. Unfortunately, that is not likely to happen anytime in the foreseeable future.

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This post was written by Andrew Winters

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