What is the decision in this case and how does it affect a detained immigrant?
Lately, the news has been flooded with immigration updates and changes, including court cases affecting various aspects of immigration law. Earlier this year, on February 20, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States decided Jennings v. Rodriguez. The Supreme Court ruled that detained immigrants do not have the right under the laws to have periodic bond hearings so that they may have a chance to be released. These detained immigrants also include permanent residents and asylum seekers. This means that detained immigrants could be held in detention facilities for an indefinite and unknown amount of time. The case was remanded back to the lower court to decide whether prolonged immigration detention is unconstitutional.
This case reversed the previous Ninth Circuit Rodriguez decision which held that the government was required to give certain immigrants the right to ask for a bond hearing if they had been detained for at least six months. In such a bond hearing, the government was required to show that the immigrant was a flight risk and a danger to the community to justify the immigrant’s continued detention. Therefore, this decision by the U.S. Supreme Court is seen as a huge disappointment for the many immigrants who have been detained for months and in many cases, even years.
Is this a dead end for all detained immigrants trying to get released?
The practice of detaining immigrants indefinitely without a case by case determination is inhumane. The last remaining weapon may be the U.S. Constitution. The fight will continue back in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth Circuit will determine whether it violates the U.S. Constitution when a person is forced into prolong detention without a bond hearing.
Detained immigrants or their family members are encouraged to speak with an immigration attorney about their situation and discuss any options that may be available for the detained person.