April, Attorney General William Barr announced that the federal government
would no longer offer bond hearings to detained immigrants. The new policy was
aimed at the surge of immigrants appearing at the border to apply for asylum.
Historically, individuals who passed the initial credible fear interview then
applied for asylum and were released pending their court date.
the new policy, however, these individuals would remain detained until an
immigration court heard their asylum claims. Barr stated that this policy would
go into effect on July 15, 2019. The net result of the policy would be to keep
between 15,000 and $40,000 immigrants in custody for six months or more while
their asylum claims played out in the immigration courts.
advocates, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Northwest Immigrant
Rights Project, immediately filed a nationwide class-action lawsuit to block
the policy. These organizations claim that the move violates the Fifth
Amendment right to due process. A federal judge in Seattle now has ruled that immigrants
who enter the country seeking asylum are entitled by the U.S.
Constitution to have a bond hearing.
about half of asylum-seekers gain release on bond. To do so, they must prove to
the immigration court that they are not a flight risk and pose no threat to the
public. When asylum-seekers are released on bond, they may be able to reunite
with family members and may have a better chance of obtaining legal counsel.
These factors often make a significant difference in the outcome of an asylum
matter the type of immigration issue you are facing, the skilled and
knowledgeable immigration lawyers of Peek & Toland are here to assist you.
We handle many different types of immigration cases every day and have the kind
of strategic experience and skills that are necessary to reach the desired
outcome. By calling our office as quickly as possible after your legal issue
arises, we will have the best opportunity to resolve your immigration law case
The U.S. Supreme
Court recently issued its much-awaited ruling in Nielsen v. Preap. This case concerned whether a federal
statute, or 8 U.S.C. 1226(c), provided for mandatory immigrant
detention for a certain class of noncitizen immigrants. If the statute applied
to these immigrants, then they would be subject to detention indefinitely
without the opportunity for a bond hearing. These immigrants argued that mandatory
detention without bond as provided for in the statute did not apply to them because
the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not take them into immigration
custody until many years after they had been released from custody for a
criminal offense. In many cases, these immigrants were legal permanent
residents who had not had additional criminal charges or trouble during the
interceding years. As a result, these individuals maintained that they should
be entitled to a bond hearing to determine whether their detention was legal.
plurality of the Supreme Court agreed with the federal government’s argument
that these immigrants fell within one of the four specifically-defined groups
of immigrants contemplated in the statute. Therefore, the Court concluded that the
lapse of time between the immigrants’ criminal detention and immigration
detention was irrelevant and did not remove them from the application of the
plain language of the statute.
The dissent criticized the broad reach of the ruling, as it effectively subjected a whole class of immigrants to indefinite mandatory detention without even a bond hearing to challenge their detention. Thus, even if the immigrants later prove themselves to be not subject to removal for one reason or another, they still will have spent months or even years detained without bond. The dissent saw this as a major constitutional problem. At Peek & Toland, we care about helping you obtain through your immigration problems. We will focus our efforts on advocating on your behalf and representing your interests throughout the immigration process. Our knowledgeable immigration lawyers know the best strategies for gathering documentation to support your goals. Allow us to handle your immigration law case by sitting down with us today and discussing your situation.
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