Supreme Court Tightens Rules For Illegal Immigrants

The Supreme Court made it extremely hard for immigrants to challenge the federal government’s decisions in the court.

Usually, unauthorized immigrants used to challenge the government’s decisions to get bail and remain in the United States for as long as possible.

Supreme Court Tightens Immigration Detention Policies

In two closely related cases, the Supreme Court’s verdict will impact US immigration laws, which will help the government remove troubling immigrants from the country.

One such case was Johnson v. Arteaga-Martinez.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor authored a decision establishing the federal government would have the authority to detain certain immigrants in removal proceedings, even after six months, without offering them bond hearings.

Both of the latest decisions of the top court also overturned the previous rulings of circuit courts in San Francisco and Philadelphia.

In 2001, the court announced the government could not be allowed to keep any immigrant detained for more than six months without providing them a bond hearing.

Reportedly, these decisions of the Supreme Court can have ramifications for the upcoming immigration-related case regarding Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy.

Liberals Cry Foul After the Supreme Court’s Decision

However, liberal institutions did not seem happy with the court’s decisions.

A senior official at the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), Muzaffar Chisti, asserted immigrants who are wrongly detained in the courts have no hope left after the decision of the top court.

Both of these cases were brought to the court by illegal immigrants who suggested the government should not have any authority to hold them for more than six months without a bond hearing.

They claimed the government should have enough grounds to detain any immigrant and the government should justify its decision in front of the court.

The bone of contention was the wording of a 1996 immigration statute, which mentioned unauthorized immigrants “may” be detained for an indefinite period of time if they do not meet some specific criteria.

However, according to immigrants, the statute wrote “may” be detained and not “shall” be detained, which means they are entitled to a bond hearing if they are detained for an extended period of time.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a non-partisan data gathering group, noted only 21% of the current 24,500 detainees in immigration centers have access to legal representation.

After the Supreme Court’s verdict, this number is likely to go down significantly. TRAC also established that lawyers’ representation increases the likelihood of immigrants winning a court case.

According to 2019 data from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), an average immigrant spends 55 days in detention. However, sometimes the increasing backlog in immigration courts prolongs the cases by more than six months.

One of the most pressing concerns of the immigration advocates is the lack of basic facilities in immigration detention centers.

Last May, the Biden administration even closed two immigration centers in Massachusetts and Georgia, accusing them of human rights abuses.