Trump gets a U.S. Supreme Court victory on immigration detention

The Supreme Court on Tuesday endorsed the U.S. government’s authority to detain immigrants awaiting deportation anytime - potentially even years - after they have completed prison terms for criminal convictions, handing President Donald Trump a victory as he pursues hardline immigration policies.

The court ruled 5-4 along ideological lines, with its conservative justices in the majority and its liberal justices dissenting, that federal authorities could place such immigrants into indefinite detention anytime without the possibility of bail, not just immediately after they finish prison sentences.

The ruling, authored by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, left open the possibility that some immigrants could challenge their detention. These immigrants potentially could argue that the use of the 1996 federal law involved in the case, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, against them long after finishing their sentences would violate their due process rights under the U.S. Constitution.

Most of the plaintiffs in the case are legal immigrants.

The law states the government can detain convicted immigrants “when the alien is released” from criminal detention. Civil rights lawyers in the case argued that the language of the law shows that it applies only immediately after immigrants are released. The Trump administration said the government should have the power to detain such immigrants anytime.

 Read more at Reuters

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