[Pnews] US Supreme Court Rules Immigrants Can be Indefinitely Detained

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Mar 1 11:34:47 EST 2018


  US Supreme Court Rules Immigrants Can be Indefinitely Detained

February 28, 2018

In a major blow to immigration rights advocates, the *Supreme Court* 
Tuesday ruled that *U.S.* immigration officials could hold immigrants 
scheduled to be deported, irrespective of whether they have permanent 
legal status or are seeking asylum, in detention for an indefinite 
period of time.

In a divisive 5-3 ruling, Justice Elena Kagan, an Associate Justice of 
the Supreme Court, recused and ruled that immigrants don't have the 
right to periodic bond hearings.

"Immigration officials are authorized to detain certain aliens in the 
course of immigration proceedings while they determine whether those 
aliens may be lawfully present in the country," Justice Samuel Alito 
wrote in the majority opinion.

The Supreme court has sent the case to lower courts to decide over the 
legality of bond hearings and whether it is constitutional to seek such 

The *American Civil Liberties Union*, or *ACLU*, said it looks forward 
to arguing the constitutional questions in lower courts. “The Trump 
administration is trying to expand immigration detention to 
record-breaking levels as part of its crackdown on immigrant 
communities,” ACLU attorney Ahilan Arulanantham said, according to Reuters.

There are nearly 36,000 immigrants held in detention in the United 
States and the ACLU estimates that about 10 to 20 percent of them have 
been detained for at least six months.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in *San Francisco* had 
earlier ruled that immigrants should be able to appeal for a bond 
hearing after at least six months in detention, and if such release is 
denied then the person would only get a chance at another hearing after 
remaining in detention for six more months.

"To impose a rigid six-month rule like the Court of Appeals did is 
really a mistake," acting Solicitor General Ian Gershengorn said in 
November 2016.

The ruling came in the case, Jennings v. Rodriguez, in which Alejandro 
Rodriguez, a lawful *permanent resident *who came to the country from 
*Mexico *as an infant, was held for three years for two non-violent 
convictions, drug possession and an earlier conviction for joyriding. 
After spending three years in detention, he filed for a hearing 
challenging the confinement and has since won his case.

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