Opinion| On Tuesday, the Supreme Court sided with President Trump and his administration and their “ability to detain immigrants with criminal records at any time and hold them indefinitely while they await deportation, even if they served time for their offense years ago,” according to the Hill.
The Supreme Court managed to reverse the finding of the 9th Circuit Court which stated that “the mandatory detention requirement for certain immigrants with criminal records applies only if an immigrant is detained by officials as soon as he or she is released from jail,” according to the Hill. The final vote was 5-4.
Justice Samuel Alito felt that the interpretation of the 9th Circuit Court goes against the very structure of that law which Congress originally made for immigrants who have previously been guilty of committing serious crimes. Ideologically, the justices were split in their decision.
“If the alien evades arrest for some short period of time — according to respondents, even 24 hours is too long — the mandatory-detention requirement is inapplicable, and the alien must have an opportunity to apply for release on bond or parole,” stated Justice Alito.
He continued, “Four other circuits have rejected this interpretation of the statute, and we agree that the 9th Circuit’s interpretation is wrong.”
The Hill reports:
Mony Preap, one of the lead plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit the case stems from, is a lawful permanent resident who had two drug convictions that qualified him for mandatory detention.
Despite completing his jail time for the drug charges in 2006, he wasn’t detained until he was released from jail on a separate, nondeportable offense in 2013.
In a dissenting opinion, which Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined, Justice Stephen Breyer said he disagreed with the majority’s reading of the law.
Citing the Constitution, he said he doesn’t think Congress intended to deprive people of their liberty for months or years without the possibility of bail if they have long since paid their debt to society.
“I would have thought that Congress meant to adhere to these values and did not intend to allow the Government to apprehend persons years after their release from prison and hold them indefinitely without a bail hearing,” Justice Breyer said.
He continued, “In my view, the Court should interpret the words of this statute to reflect Congress’ likely intent, an intent that is consistent with our basic values.”
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton was in favor of the Court’s decision, tweeting that they had upheld American rule of law.
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) March 19, 2019