Disappeared by the State: What Tuesday’s Supre…

Disappeared by the State: What Tuesday’s Supreme Court Decision on Indefinite Detention Means for Immigrants:


On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled that US immigration officials can
detain immigrants within the US indefinitely, without offering periodic
bond hearings. Immigrants with permanent legal status and those seeking
asylum would not be exempt from this policy. In 2015, the 9th Circuit
Court of Appeals ruled that immigrants must be given a bond hearing
every six months, so long as they are not deemed a flight risk or a
threat to national security. The Supreme Court’s decision to reverse the
lower court’s ruling and remand the case for reconsideration by the
Circuit Court marks yet another victory in the Trump administration’s
xenophobic crusade against immigrants.

Being “disappeared” by the state is hardly a new concept amongst
undocumented people. Alejandro Rodriguez, the lead plaintiff
in Tuesday’s case, is a legal permanent resident who lingered in
detention for three years, without access to a bond hearing, due to a
misdemeanor drug offense. The ACLU ultimately took up Rodriguez’s case,
scoring a victory in the circuit court, wherein the court ruled that
immigrant detainees were entitled to bond hearings every six months. The
Obama administration appealed that ruling,
arguing that the United States government has the right to detain
“criminal and terrorist aliens,” and the Trump administration
predictably opted to continue the case. But while the case and
controversy predate the Trump administration, this decision comes at a
particularly frightening time for undocumented immigrants, who are
already living in the crosshairs of the Trump administration.