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Immigrants don’t have to be given bond hearings

In a 5-3 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that immigrants do not have the right to periodic bond hearings. This may be true for those living in Florida or elsewhere in the country as permanent residents. In its ruling, the court ruled that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals made a mistake when determining that immigrants were entitled to a hearing every six months.

The Ninth Circuit made its ruling based on an interpretation of Chapter 12 of Title Eight of the U.S. Code. The case in question involved a permanent resident who was detained pursuant to terms of Chapter 12. He argued that he was entitled to a bond hearing in a petition of habeas corpus to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The court agreed with the man prior to the Ninth Circuit upholding the decision.

It reasoned that there were multiple ways to interpret §§ 1225(b) and 1226(c), and it had the authority to choose one that best fit the Constitution. This is known as canon of constitutional avoidance. In its ruling, the Supreme Court noted that there were no mentions of bond hearings in §§1225(b)(1) and (b)(2). Therefore, the canon was misapplied as it relates to how long an immigrant can be detained.

Immigrants who face criminal charges may wish to seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Doing so may increase the odds that they get a bond hearing or otherwise protect any due process rights that they have. While immigrants and permanent residents generally have fewer rights than citizens, it may be possible for an attorney to help them obtain a favorable ruling in their case. This might allow them to stay in the country or avoid jail time.