Real ID and the Great Writ
TalkLeft has criticized the Real ID Act, as did the New York Times this morning, in part because Congress "tied it to a crucial bill providing funds for American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan" to avoid debating the bill on its merits.
One reason (among many) that the Real ID Act deserves greater scrutiny is "a little-known provision that opponents say would be the first suspension of habeas corpus since the Civil War."
The immigration legislation, known as the Real ID Act, would bar noncitizens from the right of habeas corpus review in federal district courts for most detention and deportation orders. ... [The provisions] would mean anyone held in detention on immigration-related charges or purposes, except asylum seekers, could not file habeas claims.
"It really removes one of the core functions that habeas review has prevented historically, which is a safety valve against manifest injustice resulting from unlawful government action," said Marshall Fitz, the associate director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. He acknowledged that the bill would provide an alternative recourse before U.S. courts of appeals, but that would be ineffective in many cases.
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