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Supreme Court hears immigration detention case

The Supreme Court grappled on Wednesday with the scope of an immigration law that allows the government to d...

Posted: Oct 11, 2018 12:27 AM
Updated: Oct 11, 2018 12:28 AM

The Supreme Court grappled on Wednesday with the scope of an immigration law that allows the government to detain without bond those living in the US legally with past criminal records.

The case centers on whether detention must occur promptly upon an immigrant's release from criminal custody or whether it can happen months or even years later when the individual has resettled into society. The statute says simply that the arrest can occur "when" the person is released from custody.

Brett Kavanaugh

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The arguments come as the government has taken a hard line across the board on enforcing immigration laws.

Justices were reviewing an opinion from a panel of judges on the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled against the government in 2016 holding that the Department of Homeland Security can detain without bond only those criminal aliens who were taken into immigration custody "promptly upon their release from the triggering criminal custody," not those detained long after.

Other courts have split on the issue.

Wednesday, Justice Stephen Breyer expressed concern that the government's read of the statute was too broad and seemed to suggest that there should be some sort of reasonable standard that could limit the government from detaining an individual, for example, some 50 years after he has finished serving his sentence.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was only hearing his third Supreme Court argument, seemed sympathetic to the Justice Department's argument that when Congress passed the law, it chose not to insert a time limitation to the government's action.

"Congress knew it wouldn't be immediate, and yet Congress did not put in a time limit," Kavanaugh said. "That raises a real question for me whether we should be superimposing a time limit into the statute when Congress, at least as I read it, did not itself do so."

But at another point Kavanaugh suggested some sympathy for Breyer's suggestion of a limiting principle.

Justice Samuel Alito emerged as one of the strongest supporters of the Justice Department's position.

Mony Preap was born in a refugee camp after his family fled Cambodia's Khmer Rouge. He arrived as an infant in 1981 and was convicted twice in 2006 of possession of marijuana. Years after his release, he was transferred to immigration detention after a short sentence for simple battery, an offense that does not trigger mandatory detention.

Preap's lawyers at the American Civil Liberties Union argue that under the government's interpretation of the law those individuals who could prove to an immigration judge that they pose no flight risk will instead be confined in detention for "months or even years on end."

Ultimately, Preap was released from immigration custody but he remains the lead plaintiff for a class of others with similar complaints.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 307519

Reported Deaths: 7096
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20784248
Hinds19894408
Harrison17493302
Rankin13316275
Jackson13099243
Madison9896210
Lee9859169
Jones8293160
Forrest7523146
Lauderdale7189237
Lowndes6265144
Lamar610784
Lafayette6028117
Washington5280132
Bolivar4770129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4442103
Pearl River4420139
Warren4281118
Marshall4273100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4057132
Union403775
Neshoba3988176
Lincoln3871108
Hancock372185
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322781
Pike3181104
Scott310572
Yazoo304368
Alcorn297764
Itawamba296876
Copiah293065
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284868
Prentiss275659
Marion265979
Wayne261341
Leake261173
Grenada254982
Covington254580
Adams245982
Newton244859
George237847
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213373
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182454
Stone179131
Clarke176876
Tallahatchie175540
Calhoun163230
Yalobusha158836
Smith158634
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126323
Noxubee125933
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite120141
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95226
Humphreys94332
Franklin81923
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 519071

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754131487
Mobile37774798
Madison33868494
Tuscaloosa25283443
Montgomery23969565
Shelby23112238
Baldwin20638300
Lee15524165
Calhoun14286311
Morgan14140268
Etowah13664345
Marshall11957219
Houston10383278
Elmore9994200
Limestone9814147
Cullman9475188
St. Clair9429234
Lauderdale9218227
DeKalb8747181
Talladega8060171
Walker7092275
Jackson6755110
Autauga6727103
Blount6488135
Colbert6205130
Coffee5401112
Dale4768110
Russell428938
Franklin419982
Chilton4083109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3893146
Escambia388074
Dallas3527149
Chambers3500122
Clarke346360
Marion3066100
Pike305875
Lawrence295395
Winston272372
Bibb256458
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224955
Hale218775
Butler212366
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176941
Monroe171540
Washington164038
Macon154848
Clay149454
Crenshaw149357
Cleburne146041
Lamar139334
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99328
Greene90734
Choctaw58724
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