The Supreme Court is has recently made numerous rulings on the certain rights of illegal immigrants entering in the United States. The rulings have largely not been in favor of illegal immigration as the Court currently has a conservative majority, even though some decisions have been unanimous.
On Tuesday, SCOTUS ruled that there’s no time limit to how long the government can detain certain immigrants who claim they will face violence or persecution if returned to their home countries.
The decision came down with a 6-3 vote, the liberal justices dissenting in this case. The ruling determined that these specific illegals are not entitled to a hearing in immigration court over their release. Once the federal government evaluates their claim, and determines whether they are in fact in danger in their home countries, a court hearing can be arranged.
Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court that “those aliens are not entitled to a bond hearing.”
This case involves multiple illegal immigrants who, when previously deported, reentered the country illegally claiming fear of violence or torture upon returning to their home country. On man from El Salvador claimed immediately upon his deportation he was threatened by a local gang. He said his return to the United States, albeit illegally, was his solution to escape the threats.
As a result, immigration officers ruled that if immigrants had a “reasonable fear” for their safety after being deported to their home countries, the immigration court system would set in motion an evaluation process that typically takes months, sometimes years.
The issue for the court was whether the government could hold the immigrants without having an immigration judge weigh in. The immigrants and the Trump administration, which briefed and argued the case before President Joe Biden’s inauguration in January, pointed to different provisions of immigration law to make their respective cases.
Alito, in his opinion for the court, wrote that the administration’s argument that the relevant provision does not provide for a bond hearing was more persuasive.
The federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, had ruled in the immigrants’ favor, but other appellate courts had sided with the government. Tuesday’s decision sets a nationwide rule, but one that affects what lawyers for the immigrants called a relatively small subset of noncitizens.
Author: Elizabeth Tierney