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U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Case About Immigration Detention

On March 19, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would be hearing Nielsen v. Preap, an appeal of a 9th Circuit decision about which noncitizens are subject to mandatory detention.

Under federal immigration law, immigrants who are convicted of certain crimes are subject to mandatory detention. The government must keep them in detention during the entire length of their removal proceedings and they cannot be released on bond. This is true even after a noncitizen has served the entire sentence for his conviction. When he is released, ICE can pick him up and detain him indefinitely without a bond hearing.

In 2016, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held that this law applies to noncitizens who served their sentences and then were immediately detained by ICE. The 9th Circuit decided that the law did not apply to noncitizens who served their sentences, were released, and were then detained by ICE sometime later. To put it simply, the 9th Circuit held that noncitizens who were not immediately detained by ICE “when released” from criminal detention are not subject to mandatory detention.

The Trump administration appealed the 9th Circuit decision and the Supreme Court has now agreed to hear the case.

The Court will hear arguments and decide the case at some point between October 2018 and June 2019.

Bella Clark