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Supreme Court to hear immigration detention case

The United States Supreme Court recently agreed to consider if detained immigrants who face deportation have to be allowed bail hearings if they end up being held for a minimum of six months. This decision related to immigration detention might have huge implications for groups of people in Georgia and other states who support immigration rights. The Supreme Court will hear a case dating back to the year 2010, when a class-action lawsuit was brought against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, by the American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU.

The 2010 case that will be heard includes nearly 1,000 immigrants in another state who were detained for more than six months. They were detained for committing deportable crimes while being legal residents or for crossing the Mexican-U.S. border illicitly. According to the ACLU, immigrants who are in detention centers and have demonstrated that they will indeed attend their court hearings and have not posed a threat to the public deserve the right to bail hearings.

A state court in this case ruled in the ACLU's favor, and a circuit court upheld the ruling of the lower court in 2015. However, President Barack Obama's administration appealed the circuit court's ruling. Thus, the case is now to be reviewed by the Supreme Court.

The Obama administration appealed the ruling because it reportedly increased the number of individuals who are eligible for bail hearings, thus setting the bar high for the U.S. government to argue against a detainee's release. However, the ACLU has claimed that the federal government has exaggerated the court injunction's impact, which applies only to immigrants in a certain local area. In Georgia, staying abreast of changes occurring in the law involving immigration detention may be helpful, especially for immigrants who lack the necessary paperwork, so that they can make educated decisions about the courses of action they should take when dealing with detention issues.

Source: theatlantic.com, "Is Long-Term Immigration Detention Illegal?", J. Weston Phippen, June 20, 2016

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