Immigration detention practices in Florida and across the United States continue to make controversial headlines in 2018. In late July, a federal district judge ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to release all minors detained at a center in Texas after harrowing reports of child abuse were leaked to news media outlets.
Now that the Supreme Court of the United States has overturned an unconstitutionally vague law, legal residents in Florida may have greater access to due process when convicted of crimes. The law in question required the automatic deportation of legal residents found guilty of "crimes of violence."
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.
Floridians who are taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents may be held at detention facilities, and some of these facilities are run by private companies that have contracts with the U.S. government. One such facility that is located in Colorado is the subject of a class action lawsuit that was filed by nine detainees.
New immigration policies heightening the detention of undocumented immigrants can lead to a new problem: caring for the children of those detained. With more than 5 million children of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., the problem could worsen in the coming years. For undocumented persons in the Florida area and elsewhere, some preventive measures may be in order.
A recent class-action decision by a judge is considered a victory for detained immigrants. The decision may force law enforcement officers and ICE officials in Florida and across the country to revise their procedures.