Supreme Court Shoots Down Some Detained Immigrants’ Rights to Bond Hearings

Public Radio International (PRI) recently released an analysis of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Jennings v. Rodriguez, a class-action lawsuit that immigration advocates had been watching closely. In this case, the lead plaintiff, a legal permanent resident, was convicted of minor crimes as a teenager, including joyriding and minor drug possession. He remained in an immigration detention facility without ever having a bond hearing, until he ultimately was released from detention. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals previously ruled in this suit that immigrants who are detained for six months or longer have the right to a bond hearing. In these situations, a bond hearing is important for obvious reasons; immigrant detainees who are released on bond can return to their homes and families, continue to work and support their families, and work on gathering evidence to defend themselves in deportation proceedings.

The federal government appealed this decision, and the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. In a 5-3 ruling, the Supreme Court took the position that federal immigration law does not give immigrant detainees the right to a bond hearing. The Court adopted the position of the U.S. Justice Department, which argued that holding bond hearings would place an extraordinary burden on the immigration court system. However, the Court did remand the case back to the Ninth Circuit for consideration of whether holding an immigrant in detention without a bond hearing is a constitutional practice. Therefore, while the decision has alarmed some immigration advocates, the Supreme Court stopped short of addressing the constitutional issue, which means that the Ninth Circuit still has the ability to find the practice unconstitutional.

This recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, unfortunately, may put you and your loved ones at a greater risk for detention pending deportation proceedings, depending on your circumstances. However, the skilled and knowledgeable immigration lawyers of Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. are here to get immigrants released from detention and defend them against removal from the country. We handle these types of cases on a regular basis and have valuable knowledge about how to best represent your interests, based on your individual circumstances. By contacting our office right away, you will place yourself in the best position possible to have loved ones released from detention and defend again potential removal from home and family.

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