SCOTUS Rules Gov’t Can Detain Immigrants with Criminal Records Indefinitely

HeadlineMar 20, 2019

In a major blow for immigrant rights, the Supreme Court ruled the government can detain immigrants with past criminal records indefinitely and without due process—even decades after their convictions. The 5-4 ruling Tuesday in favor of the government centers around a 1996 law that allows immigration officials to take immigrants into custody after they are released from jail—but without specifying a time frame. The ACLU, which brought the case on behalf of immigrants affected by the law, said, “[T]he Supreme Court has endorsed the most extreme interpretation of immigration detention statutes, allowing mass incarceration of people without any hearing, simply because they are defending themselves against a deportation charge. We will continue to fight the gross overuse of detention in the immigration system.”

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