President Trump’s administration just scored a major victory with the Supreme Court ruling non-citizens can be detained any time after being arrested. This allows U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain individuals while waiting for the deportation process. The decision comes after a public outcry from some that illegal immigrants were being detained for prolonged amounts of time.
The court ruled 5-4 in favor of the detainment after an arrest. The conservatives judges argued that the lack of manpower and sanctuary cities have hindered ICE agents from doing their duty to the fullest extent.
Associate Justice Samuel Alito, who authored the ruling, explained this was not going to be used for immigrants who have blended into society and are law-abiding. Instead, this was for the career criminals who have been deported only to return again.
Associate Justice Stephen Breyer argued after the ruling that this is giving too much power to the federal government. “It is a power to detain persons who committed a minor crime many years before,” he said. “And it is a power to hold those persons, perhaps for many months, without any opportunity to obtain bail.”
Along with Bryer, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor openly opposed the ruling by stating, “It runs the gravest risk of depriving those whom the government has detained of one of the oldest and most important of our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms: the right not to be deprived of liberty without due process of law,” the group wrote. They added that the “greater importance of the case lies in the power” afforded to the government.
Before this ruling, the law stated that immigrants can be detained “when the alien is released.” The Trump administration has long argued this law by claiming illegal immigrants should be able to be detained any time after being released.
Cecillia Wang, who is the director of an advocacy group, spoke to USA Today on the ruling which she claims is “the most extreme interpretation of immigration detention statutes, allowing mass incarceration of people without any hearing, simply because they are defending themselves against a deportation charge.”
This ruling has reversed the 2016 9th Circuit ruling that favored immigrants and mitigated what immigration officers could do.