Published March 22, 2018

Federal law currently sets forth conditions under which certain non-U.S. citizens with more serious criminal records must be detained without bond while they defend against removal proceedings.  In interpreting this law, two recent federal court of appeals decisions found that only those convicted immigrants apprehended by Department of Homeland Security/ICE immediately after being released from criminal custody may be detained without bond hearings. When not subject to mandatory detention provisions, the non-U.S. citizen with a criminal conviction who is defending against removal may be eligible for release on bond, assuming they are not a flight risk or a danger to public safety. The U.S. government is now seeking recourse with the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the Court of Appeals for the 9 Circuit decisions, urging an interpretation of the subject detention provisions allowing for mandatory detention for all criminal immigrants and regardless of when they were released from criminal custody, whether that be immediately prior, or 25 years before, ICE apprehension.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to accept the case for consideration is not surprising given the disparity in rulings coming from our nation’s various Courts of Appeal on this issue. Furthermore, the political dimensions at play on this issue could not be more sensational, especially in light of the policies of our nation’s “Sanctuary Cities” when it comes to the use of local authorities to facilitate immigrant detentions.  Arguments on this issue before the Supreme Court can be expected this fall.

PUBLISHED March 22, 2018– “IMMIGRATION LAW FORUM” Copyright © 2018, By Law Offices of Richard Hanus, Chicago, Illinois