Supreme Court to Close Down Revolving Door Detention?

Press Releases

October 14, 2020

IRLI urges Court to take up disastrous Ninth Circuit rule

WASHINGTON—Yesterday, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Supreme Court urging the Court to review two decisions of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that allow illegal and removable aliens to be released from detention into the United States after just six months. Such aliens are in detention because they wish to contest their deportation at upcoming removal hearings rather than being freed now to return to their own countries.

In its brief, IRLI shows how the Ninth Circuit misapplied a previous Supreme Court decision to reach its rule mandating bond hearings for all detained aliens after six months. In that decision, the Supreme Court found that an alien who had no prospect of being removed from the country, because no other country would accept him, could not be detained indefinitely. By contrast, in the cases the Ninth Circuit decided, both aliens re-entered the country illegally after their previous deportations, and have every prospect of being removed. Thus, the Constitution fully allows the law Congress passed, which in no way provides for bond hearings, to be applied as written.

“Decades of neglect in immigration enforcement have resulted in swelling backlogs in the immigration courts that often make scheduling removal hearings within six months impossible,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “Releasing detained aliens into the country will just make the underlying problem worse. We hope the Court takes up these cases to make clear that the Constitution gives Congress, not federal judges, the authority to make the rules about alien detention, and allows the President to take solving our illegal immigration problem seriously.”

The cases are Barr v. Gonzalez and Barr v. Tejada, No. 20-322 (Supreme Court).

For additional information, contact: Brian Lonergan • 202-232-5590 • blonergan@irli.org

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