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Citizens for Justice and Peace

US Supreme Court ruling means immigrants can be detained indefinitely

28, Feb 2018 | CJP Team

The United States’ Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, February 27, that immigration authorities can hold immigrants indefinitely without bond hearings, even if they are permanent legal residents or asylum seekers, The Hill reported. The court ruled that immigrants did not have the right to periodic bond hearings, although immigration activists had maintained that immigrants should not be detained for more than six months at a time without a bond hearing. President Donald Trump’s administration had appealed a previous appeals court ruling that had established that immigrants in custody should be given a bond hearing every six months, provided they are not a threat to national security or a flight risk. According to Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s majority opinion, “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”. The case’s lead plaintiff, Alejandro Rodriguez, is an immigrant who has permanent legal status, and was found guilty of joyriding and possessing a controlled substance. Immigration authorities held him in custody for three years without a bond hearing. His case was taken up by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which secured his release and the reversal of his deportation order. President Barack Obama’s administration had appealed, with the case continuing under the Trump administration. 

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