9th Circuit Rejects Prolonged Immigrant Detention Without Hearing
In a unanimous decision, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held that a person who has been subjected to prolonged immigration detention is entitled to release unless the government can show that he poses a risk of flight or a danger to the community at a bond hearing before an immigration judge.
The Constitution guarantees every person, whether here lawfully or not, a day in court. The ACLU says: [More...]
The government's increasing use of detention as an immigration enforcement strategy means that, on any given day, thousands of immigrants, including green card holders and asylum seekers, are detained for prolonged periods of time without a hearing.
The detention of people who pose no danger or flight risk not only violates the law, but is bad policy. The government currently spends millions locking up people whose detention serves no purpose, squandering taxpayer dollars in a time of fiscal austerity. Prolonged immigration detention is also cruel and unfair. Individuals are routinely held in far-flung detention centers that are hundreds of miles away from their attorneys and family members. Their detention for months or years makes it nearly impossible for them to fight their case — even when they have legitimate claims for legal status in the United States.
The ACLU also has a message for the Obama administration:
The Obama administration should use Monday's court decision as an opportunity to revisit its national immigration detention policy and bring it into compliance with current law and the Constitution.
The The ACLU represented Amadou Diouf, along with the ACLU of Southern California and the Stanford Law School Immigrants' Rights Clinic, says:
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