USSC Issues Ruling in Nielsen v. Preap

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.

USSC Issues Ruling in Nielsen v. Preap

Unfortunately, a 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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