In its last weeks before its summer break, the U.S. Supreme Court is handing down decisions in some much-watched cases. Its recent rulings on two cases involving detained immigrants basically leave things as they are. However, that’s highly disappointing for many detainees and their families.
One case produced an unusual 8-1 ruling. The justices ruled that detainees can be held in federal facilities indefinitely without a bond hearing even if they haven’t been charged with a crime.
The other ruling also involved detainees’ rights. In a 6-3 decision, the justices ruled that detainees who seek a bond hearing cannot bring class-action cases. They must bring their cases individually, which can take much longer to do.
As one law school professor noted, “It makes it impossible to ensure that everyone who is potentially entitled to a bond hearing will get one.” She called the decision “completely unworkable and unrealistic.”
Conditions at detention centers are cause for concern
There are currently over 24,500 people being held in immigration detention facilities. Immigrants’ rights advocates have been voicing their concern for years about the safety and treatment of detainees in these facilities.
It doesn’t look like it will be improving any time soon. One legal advocate notes that “indefinite detention is contrary to a fundamental principle upon which our system was founded—that government officials may not lock up a person without at least providing them their day in court to contest whether their confinement is justified.” Advocates vow to continue fighting.
Detainees are limited in their ability to have legal representation at proceedings. However, if a loved one is in a detention center, you have every right to seek legal guidance to find out what options may be available to help them.