In a slap in the face to the ACLU and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Immigrants can be held indefinitely by U.S. immigration officials without receiving bond hearings, even if they have permanent legal status or are seeking asylum, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.
The Supreme Court decision is a result of a Trump administration appeal of a ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last year that imposed a rule requiring immigrants held in custody be given a bond hearing every six months. This was required “as long as they aren’t considered a flight risk or a danger to national security.”
In a 5-3 ruling, with Justice Elena Kagan recusing, the court ruled that immigrants do not have the right to periodic bond hearings.
The ruling is a major defeat for immigration advocates, who argued that immigrants should not be held for more than six months at a time without such a hearing.
The previous ruling from the 9th Circuit would allow for immigrants, legal or otherwise, to pay the court to release them and then vanish back into the United States general population. This will increase deportations throughout the country now that criminal immigrants are no longer allowed to get out of prison after paying the bail money after a bond hearing.
“To impose a rigid six-month rule like the Court of Appeals did is really a mistake,” Solicitor General Ian Gershengorn said in November.
In its ruling, the court affirmed the right of the government to detain immigrants while it determines whether they should be allowed in the country.
“Immigration officials are authorized to detain certain aliens in the course of immigration proceedings while they determine whether those aliens may be lawfully present in the country,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion.