Should an immigrant who has been convicted of a crime and served their sentence be forced to face the possibility of deportation at any point following his or her release from incarceration? This question on deportation and removal was recently argued in the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court issued a ruling recently permitting the U.S. government to detain immigrants who are to be deported at any time without bail, even if years have passed since they have completed their stay in prison after having been convicted of a crime, rather than just immediately once their prison sentence is concluded. This ruling is seen as a victory for the Trump administration.
The court’s opinion was split 5-4. The more conservative justices ruled in favor of the U.S. government, with the more liberal justices dissenting. Civil rights attorneys in the case claimed that the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act only applies at the time the immigrant is released from criminal detention. However, the Trump administration claimed, and most justices agreed, that under this law detainment can occur at any point following release incarceration. Most plaintiffs involved in this action were legally in the country.
Despite this ruling, there is still a chance that certain immigrants could challenge their detention as a violation of constitutional due process rights. This is important, as it leaves open the possibility that further cases could challenge this ruling. While this may seem like a setback for immigrants’ rights, it is important to remember that those facing deportation and removal may still have rights that deserve to be upheld. Immigration attorneys can provide more information on this ruling to those who are interested.