Supreme Court Allows Immigrants to be Held Indefinitely by Government Agencies

The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that immigrants can be held by U.S. immigration officials indefinitely without receiving any type of bond hearings, even in the situation if they are seeking asylum or have a permanent legal status.

The court ruled that immigrants do not have the right to periodic bond hearings with a 5-3, with Justice Elena Kagan recusing,

The ruling is considered as a defeat for the immigration advocates that were arguing that the immigrants should not be held for more than six months at a time without such a hearing.

According to The Hill, the Supreme Court ruling follows a Trump administration appeal of a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last year, that imposed a rule requiring immigrants held in custody be given a bond hearing every six months, as long as they aren’t considered a flight risk or a danger to national security.

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

With the ruling the court gave the government the right to hold immigrants until they determine if they should be allowed or not in the country.

“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 Hill reports that the lead plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit, Alejandro Rodriguez, is an immigrant with permanent legal status who was convicted of possession of a controlled substance and joyriding. He was detained by immigration officials for three years without a bond hearing.

Immigration advocates took his case and eventually succeeded in winning his release and the cancellation of his deportation order. The government’s appeal started while former President Barack Obama was still in office and continued under President Donald Trump’s term.


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