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SCOTUS decision could impact 1.5 million pending immigrant cases

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Rachel Rhodes

The Supreme Court will hear arguments tomorrow in two cases about whether immigrants detained more than six months have a right to a release hearing.


Stephen Yale-Loehr

Professor of Immigration Law

Stephen Yale-Loehr, professor of immigration law at Cornell Law School and co-author of a leading 21-volume immigration law series, says the decision will impact thousands of immigrants who are detained.

Yale-Loehr says:

“The cases are important, in part because of the large backlog in immigration courts. Over 1.5 million immigrants have cases pending in immigration court. It can take years to get a decision. If immigrants must be detained that entire time, the monetary and social costs will be immense.

“Two lower courts held that in certain cases immigrants have a right to a hearing after six months of detention. The Supreme Court’s conservative majority may disagree.

“In one of the cases, Antonio Arteaga-Martinez argues that to avoid a due process violation, he and certain other immigrants should have a right to a bond hearing after six months in detention. Last year, however, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that immigrants who return to the United States illegally after being deported must be held without bond while they await a second deportation hearing.”

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