2003 April 29 Tuesday
US Supreme Court Rules Convicted Aliens Can Be Held Till Deportation

Convicted aliens who are to be deported after serving criminal sentences can be held in prison after their sentences expire while waiting for deportation proceedings to complete.

he Supreme Court today upheld a seven-year-old federal law that says aliens, including permanent residents, who have committed certain crimes must be detained while the federal government decides whether to deport them.

From the text of majority opinion in DEMORE, DISTRICT DIRECTOR, SAN FRANCISCO DISTRICT OF IMMIGRATION AND NATURALI-ZATION SERVICE, et al. v. KIM.

In contrast, because the statutory provision at issue in this case governs detention of deportable criminal aliens pending their removal proceedings, the detention necessarily serves the purpose of preventing the aliens from fleeing prior to or during such proceedings. Second, while the period of detention at issue in Zadvydas was "indefinite" and "potentially permanent," id., at 690-691, the record shows that 1226(c) detention not only has a definite termination point, but lasts, in the majority of cases, for less than the 90 days the Court considered presumptively valid in Zadvydas. Pp. 6-20.

Put this in context. The Immigration and Naturalization Service track record on rounding up high priority fugitives for deportation is appalling. If the San Diego office's performance is indicative then only about 1% of those sought are found and most of those who are found turn themselves in voluntarily (really, as the saying goes, I am not making this up). If aliens to be deported are let go after finishing prison terms then the vast bulk of them will never be deported.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 April 29 04:48 PM  Immigration Border Control


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