The Supreme Court upheld the government’s right to hold undocumented immigrants while their removal proceedings are in dispute. The court overturned the decision of the lower courts in two cases that granted the right to a bond hearing for noncitizens.
What does this ruling mean for undocumented immigrants in the United States?
Supreme Court rulings
The court determined that the lower court in a California case involving bond hearings for noncitizens exceeded its jurisdiction. In a similar Pennsylvania case, the court determined that the lower courts were attempting to establish a right to bond hearings for immigrants that does not exist in current law.
What the rulings mean for immigrants
The Supreme Court rulings in these cases confirm that current immigration law gives the government wide-ranging powers to detain immigrants while they are waiting for deportation. Immigration rights advocates believe that the current immigration system allows the government to abuse and neglect people while detaining them for indefinite periods.
An advocate involved with the Pennsylvania case alleges that the court is contradicting its previous interpretation in the Zadvydas v. Davis case that found that the government must make a custody determination after six months. Proponents of the current law say that immigrants can avoid indefinite detention by returning to their home countries.
While the court’s determination narrowed the Zadvydas ruling, it still left room for immigrants to argue long-term detention cases in the lower courts. However, some members of the court have indicated a desire to overrule Zadvydas entirely.
Matters involving deportation defense and long-term detention are complex. People facing these issues may need legal assistance.