The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to once again hear a case that set limits on how long immigrants facing deportation can be held by the federal government.
Below is the KQED-TV detailed coverage of the re-hearing:
The U.S. Supreme Court Monday ordered a re-hearing of a case that set limits on how long the federal government can detain immigrants facing deportation.
“The fact that they are ordered re-argument implies that the eight justices that did hear the argument were split 4-4,” said Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration law professor at Cornell University.
Re-argument gives newly-installed Justice Neil Gorsuch the benefit of hearing oral arguments when he makes his decision in the case.
The final ruling could significantly impact the Trump administration’s plan to detain and deport millions more people suspected of being in the United States without authorization.
The case, Jennings v. Rodriguez, challenged a 2013 ruling by a federal court in California that requires immigration authorities to release immigrants from detention after six months unless the government can show that the person is a danger to others or a flight risk.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency detains roughly 400,000 immigrants a year according to the Department of Homeland Security, roughly 40,000 people on any given day. Those who challenge their deportation typically stay locked up for months, even years, awaiting a court decision on whether they may stay in the United States.
The named plaintiff in the class action case, Alejandro Rodriguez, spent three years in ICE detention without a hearing for his release.
According to the ACLU of Southern California, there are roughly 8,000 detainees on any given day who, like Rodriguez, have been detained for longer than six months.
The group includes legal permanent residents who are subject to deportation because they’ve been convicted of a range of crimes, and asylum seekers who have met the government’s initial criteria for protection from persecution. Both groups are subject to mandatory detention while they fight deportation in immigration court, but an immigration judge can order ICE to release detainees who pose little risk to public safety, and have strong ties to their communities that make them a low flight risk. Typically the judge will release the detainee on bond or on their own recognizance.
El Cerrito Progressives supports protections for undocumented residents, and has participated in promoting the City Council’s resolution on Sanctuary in El Cerrito.