The Supreme Court Tuesday ruled that the federal government can detain immigrants awaiting deportation well after they’ve completed prison terms for criminal convictions.
With the detention being indefinite, some cases may see criminal immigrants held for years until their deportation hearings can be processed.
Additionally, they can be taken in at any time and without a bond hearing, making it unnecessary to pursue those criminals immediately after release from prison.
The statute states that the detention can occur “when the alien is released” from custody, with the left lamenting that this could mean action is taken well after the individual has assimilated back into society.
Reuters has defined the ruling, which was voted in favor of 5-4, as “a victory” for President Trump “as he pursues hardline immigration policies.”
The Supreme Court says the government can detain — without a bond hearing — immigrants with past criminal records, even if years have passed since they were released from criminal custody. https://t.co/OIJAyjezng pic.twitter.com/qzpingaFz7
— CNN (@CNN) March 19, 2019
In the ruling, Justice Samuel Alito stated that an arbitrary deadline for when to detain the individuals is not something the Court sees as their duty.
He agreed with the Trump administration in claiming they have the authority to detain such immigrants at any time they deem necessary, reiterating the court’s claims that “an official’s crucial duties are better carried out late than never.”
NEW: Supreme Court, split 5-4, endorses government ability to detain immigrants awaiting deportation potentially years after they have completed prison terms for criminal convictions
— Lawrence Hurley (@lawrencehurley) March 19, 2019
In his dissent, which was actually read from the bench in order to voice his disdain, Justice Stephen Breyer argued that the court, by not setting a timeframe, was depriving criminal immigrants of their Constitutional rights.
“It runs the gravest risk of depriving those whom the Government has detained of one of the oldest and most important of our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms: the right not to be deprived of liberty without due process of law,” he argued.
The ruling runs counter to a decision by the liberal 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that said essentially if the immigrants weren’t immediately detained after their prison sentence, they were free to go.
A Good Sign
The conservative vote of 5-4 supporting hardline immigration policies in the Trump administration bodes well for future rulings.
One, which we covered here earlier today, involves a case the Supreme Court has agreed to review that would consider allowing states to prosecute illegal immigrants for identity theft if they use another person’s Social Security number to obtain a job.
Another similar ruling would give states another tool for battling illegal immigration, especially those who use ignoring border laws as a stepping stone to worse crimes like identity theft.