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Indefinite Detention: Nielsen v. Preap

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The Supreme Court ruled in March 2019 that ICE can prevent immigrants from getting bond because of past crimes that are years old, even if they were previously released from criminal custody.

The Nielsen v. Preap decision upheld part of the Immigration and Nationality Act with a 5 to 4 split along party lines. Previously, the decision was left to the states, but now with this ruling, the decision is under federal jurisdiction. Most of the states already followed this rule, but now the remaining states that make up the Ninth Circuit will have to follow suit. The Ninth Circuit includes Alaska, Washington, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and even California.

Mandatory Detention Without Bond

The more liberal side of the court is worried that the decision may be unconstitutional. As nationwide immigration bondsmen, we find this decision especially alarming as people may now be separated from their families indefinitely.  Illegal immigrants can be detained for long periods of time without immigration bail even if they meet the other immigration bond requirements.

Typically, someone with a detained family member could seek out an immigration bond company like us to try and get their loved one released. Now, people who are not citizens may be subject to indefinite detention without the possibility of even applying for an immigration bail bond for crimes that could be fairly minor. The decision also applies to immigrants who have already paid their fine or completed their sentence for their crime. Even the rights of green card holders are reduced as they too can be detained without any hope for help from immigration bond services.

The most current Nielsen v. Preap decision focused on the story of Mony Preaps. Preaps was born in a refugee camp to Cambodian parents and has been in the United State since 1981. He is a green card holder who was detained by ICE for months without an immigration hearing. This detainment took place seven years after he had already served sentences for two minor drug convictions for possession of marijuana. Feeling that his rights were violated, Preaps filed a habease petition and class-action compliant about the timing of the detainment. The Ninth Circuit agreed with him before the ruling was reversed by the Supreme Court last month.

At this point the future is unknown. While there is certainly the possibility that this ruling may be challenged again, the probability of this happening in the near future is unlikely. Until that time, thousands of immigrants may be subject to mandatory detention without immigration bond bail.

We understand that this news is scary and overwhelming. If you or your loved one is being detained by ICE, we would like to help. At US Immigration Bonds & Insurance Services, our goal is to reconnect loved ones as soon as possible. Contact us today to learn more and see if we can help you.

Read More Details Here:

  1. Vox – The Supreme Court’s liberals are very worried about indefinite detention of immigrants
  2. National Law Review – Supreme Court Update: Nielsen v. Preap (No. 16-1363), Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP (No. 17-1307), Republic of Sudan v. Harrison (No. 16-1094), Murphy v. Collier (No. 16-1094)
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