Before President-elect Trump can exercise any executive power on immigration next January, SCOTUS will set a new precedent by hearing Jennings v. Rodriguez on Wednesday.
The case comes from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that illegal immigrants held in detention centers for at least six months must be afforded bond hearings with the possibility of release, including those with criminal records.
Under the Obama administration, over 2.4 million illegal immigrants have been deported, a record number above any other U.S. president according to a June report by the New York Times, but nearly two-thirds of these “deportation cases involve people who had committed minor infractions, including traffic violations, or had no criminal record at all.”
U.S. Solicitor Gen. Donald Verrilli told the Los Angeles Times, “Throughout the history of U.S. immigration law, Congress has never provided bond hearings for aliens detained at the threshold of entry to the country […]”
But the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued in federal court in Los Angeles and won the appeals, argues that many of these detainees are not criminals, with families to take care of and jobs to return to as they await their immigration status, and deserve a hearing after being held for half a year in prison.
How do you feel SCOTUS should rule and why? Should foreigners who are in the country illegally but seeking immigration status be exempt from bond hearings? Larry Mantle speaks with two experts on immigration studies to analyze the implications resulting in overturning or upholding Jennings v. Rodriguez.
Michael Kaufman, Staff Attorney specializing in immigrants’ rights at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California
Jessica Vaughan, Director of Policy Studies at Center for Immigration Studies