Lifezette: Legal Challenge Could Paralyze Immigration Enforcement

IRLI In The News

December 2, 2016

By Brendan Kirby

Supreme Court considers ruling that will grant release to criminals detained in deportation proceedings

The Supreme Court this week considered a case that could grind the U.S. immigration enforcement system to a halt and severely complicate President-elect Donald Trump’s plans to step up deportations of criminals.

The San Francisco-based Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of immigrants in mandatory detention and ruled that the government must give anyone who is detained with a pending deportation case a bond hearing after six months. The ruling, for now, applies only to California. But if five Supreme Court justices vote to uphold the ruling, it would affect immigration cases nationwide.

The plaintiffs argue that indefinite detention in unconstitutional. The Obama administration argues that the appellate court improperly made up a new standard, contradicting the will of Congress when it reformed immigration detention rules in 1996. It is the most important immigration case of the current term.

Critics of the ruling said the reason that immigration-deportation cases drag on for so long is that the immigrants, themselves, delay them by pursuing ever expanding legal means to fight removal. Anyone detained an an immigration facility can leave at any time — by agreeing to return to his or her own country. … Read the full story by Brendan Kirby.

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