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  • IRLI Staff

Criminal Aliens Demand Covid Release

IRLI shows they have no right to release into America

WASHINGTON—Yesterday, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals urging the court to reverse a lower-court’s order that 20 criminal aliens be released from their detention in York County, Pennsylvania, because of coronavirus fears.

Petitioners were detained, awaiting their removal proceedings, in the York County Correctional Facility because they had committed such crimes as assault, assault with a deadly weapon, firearms offenses, cocaine trafficking, and money laundering. Several had failed previously to appear for criminal trials or committed additional crimes while out on bail, parole, probation, or other conditions of release.

Nevertheless, the lower-court judge granted their petition for a temporary restraining order before the government even had a chance to respond to it. In its brief on appeal, IRLI shows that this order was erroneous because these criminal aliens chose their own detention. They are not prisoners in the usual sense, but may always leave detention by seeking immediate removal back to their home countries. Also, IRLI shows that the proper remedy for the kind of petition they made is not release, but improvement in the allegedly dangerous conditions of their confinement.

“It is absurd that violent felons should be released into the public because they claim their detention is dangerous, when they refuse to escape that danger themselves by going home,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “What they really are claiming is not a right to be released, but a right to be released into the United States—a right that Congress has denied them because of their crimes. At most, they deserve safer conditions in detention. For the sake of public safety, we hope the appellate court reverses this error-ridden order quickly.”

The case is Hope v. Doll, No. 20-1784 (Third Circuit).


For additional information, contact:

Brian Lonergan • 202-232-5590 • blonergan@irli.org

IRLI is a supporting organization of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

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