The Supreme Court of the United States issued a blow to illegal immigrants on Tuesday. The highest court in the land ruled non-U.S. citizens who reentered the country without authorization after already having been deported are not entitled to bond hearings.
The court’s 6-3 decision held that a federal statute requiring detention for non-residents who have already received an administratively final removal order applied, even though the illegal immigrants were seeking withholding hearings to keep them from being sent back to their countries of origin.
Moreover, SCOTUS declared that because illegal immigrants were now facing removal based on the reinstatement of the previous final order, they were not entitled to a hearing to argue for release, Fox News reported.
“[T]he finality of the order of removal does not depend in any way on the outcome of the withholding-only proceedings,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the court’s majority opinion, reversing a ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
“If an immigration judge grants an application for withholding of removal, he prohibits DHS from removing the alien to that particular country, not from the United States,” Alito wrote.
“Although the statute does not specify a time limit on how long DHS may detain an alien in the post-removal period, this Court has ‘read an implicit limitation’ into the statute ‘in light of the Constitution’s demands,’ and has held that an alien may be detained only for ‘a period reasonably necessary to bring about that alien’s removal from the United States,’” Alito wrote, saying SCOTUS has found this reasonable period to be six months.
Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the dissenting opinion.
“Studies have also found that, once withholding-only relief is granted, the alien is ordinarily not sent to another, less dangerous country. Rather, the alien typically remains in the United States for the foreseeable future,…” Breyer wrote. “In sum, I can find no good reason why Congress would have wanted categorically to deny bond hearings to those who, like respondents, seek to have removal withheld or deferred due to a reasonable fear of persecution or torture.”