Supreme Court Delivers a Critical 8-1 Ruling

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The U.S. Supreme Court made some key rulings on immigration this week, as the nation’s highest court found that illegal aliens, who have been detained for six months, do not have the same civil liberties as American citizens do- and they do not have the legal right to a bond hearing for release.

“The decision addressed two separate cases involving three illegal aliens, two Mexican nationals that entered the U.S. illegally after being previously deported. After they were detained, they filed a putative class action for a bond hearing after six months of detention. The third illegal alien was from El Salvador and reentered the country illegally after being deported. He also sued in Washington federal court for a bond hearing. The case was brought to the high court under the Trump administration and was inherited by the Biden administration, which continued to pursue the previous administration’s fight,” the CenterSquare reported, adding:

“Respondents sought withholding of removal under the INA based on their fear that, if returned to their countries of origin, they would face persecution or torture,” liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in the opinion.

The case was brought to Court under the Trump administration and was inherited by the Biden administration, which continued to pursue the previous administration’s fight, Martin Wash reported for Conservative Brief, adding :

Biden was criticized for the move, with the American Civil Liberties Union claiming the administration was “decidedly on the wrong side of this fight.”

In an opinion by Justice Samuel Alito, the court held that the statute does bar class-wide injunctive relief, leaving open the possibility of injunctive relief for multiple named plaintiffs.

Alito wrote, “It generally prohibits lower courts from entering injunctions that order federal officials to take or to refrain from taking actions to enforce, implement, or otherwise carry out the specified statutory provisions.”

A recent report from Voice of America detailed how the Supreme Court is expected to deliver several major rulings this year on immigration-related cases.

“U.S. judges will be making important rulings on immigration in 2023, playing a significant role in shaping the nation’s immigration policy. Congress has not revised American immigration laws comprehensively since 1990, and Cornell Law School Professor Stephen Yale-Loehr told VOA that efforts by subsequent administrations to revise the immigration system through executive orders are tied up in court battles,” the outlet noted.

The Supreme Court ruled in December to keep the Trump-era rule in place for now, while other legal challenges to the policy play out in other courts. The court will hear arguments in the case in February before making a final decision.

Title 42 is a law giving the federal government the power to shut down the border as an emergency action. It was put in place under then-President Donald Trump in March 2020 and has prevented hundreds of thousands of migrants from seeking asylum in the U.S.

The rule was set to expire before the Supreme Court stepped in as thousands more migrants are packed in shelters on Mexico’s border with the U.S.

Trump used Title 42 in 2020 when the COVID pandemic broke out worldwide. Since it was enacted, over two million migrants have been expelled. President Joe Biden also left the rule in place.

One of the other major cases before the Supreme Court is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that started under former President Barack Obama.

“The Biden administration revised the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program in 2022, putting it through the formal rulemaking process to increase its odds of satisfying the arguments that it was not properly created. Since its inception in 2012, it has protected from deportation hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children,” Voice of America reported.

“In 2018, Texas and other Republican-led states sued the federal government, arguing that DACA harms states financially because they legally must provide education, health care, and other services to all residents of their states, including undocumented immigrants. The states further argue that only Congress has the authority to grant immigration benefits,” the outlet added.

The EPOCH times reported on another SCOTUS case, where they differed with Biden:

The Supreme Court seemed resistant to Biden administration arguments on Jan. 17 that could lead to the deportation of a transgender illegal alien from Guatemala seeking asylum.

The issue is whether noncitizens have to petition the Board of Immigration Appeals to reconsider its alleged errors before they ask federal courts of appeals for review. Those courts of appeals are split on the issue and “the Supreme Court’s answer could significantly impact noncitizens facing deportation and the immigration courts tasked with hearing their pleas for relief,” according to a SCOTUSblog summary.

The case is Santos-Zacaria v. Garland, court file 21-1436.

The U.S. government tried to deport Leon Santos-Zacaria, 34, a Guatemalan citizen who was born male but identifies as a woman and uses the first name Estrella in everyday life. Santos-Zacaria entered the United States illegally at least twice and was removed to Guatemala in 2008 and 2012. He came back to the United States in 2018 and, after being detained, applied for something called withholding of removal under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and for sanctuary under the Convention Against Torture.

 

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