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Justices Deny Bail to Illegal Immigrants

June 18, 2015

Gavel with "Bail Denied!" text The Supreme Court made a final decision on an Arizona case based on a constitutional amendment that denied bail to all illegal immigrants with serious felonies on Monday, June 1, 2015. The Justices refused to consider an appeal based on a 2006 decision, which stipulated that bail for illegal immigrants would not be done on a case-by-case consideration as previously decided in a 1984 case.

In 1984, Congress passed a law allowing pre-trial detention for illegal immigrants to be determined on a “case-by-case” basis and required detention only for defendants who are dangerous to the community. As the field evolved in 2003, the Supreme Court ruled that illegal immigrants subject to deportation pose a flight risk and thus, can be jailed pending trial. Simply put, if the chance of deportation was great, the chance of standing trial could be low and vice versa. In 2006, when the question was presented to the 9th circuit, they reversed the 1984 decision and denied the case-by-case determination previously set by Congress. The court reasoned that a “case-by-case” determination was a “scatter-shot attempt” to address flight risks.

In the recent 2015 decision, the Supreme Court aborted the opportunity to reconsider the 2006 decision based on a 78% approval rating by Arizona Citizens. The citizens stated that “if the proof is evident or the presumption great that the person is guilty of the offense charged” then pre-trial release should not be granted. Three Justices were on board to review the case, Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, but were outnumbered. Justice Thomas wrote, “Our indifference to cases such as this one will only embolden the lower courts to reject state laws on questionable constitutional grounds.” In turn, the state courts will show deference to the federal court systems when it comes to questionable constitutional grounds, making the process more uniform and linear.

Concurrently, twenty-two states deny bail to a defendant (illegal immigrant) who is charged with a capital offense. Six states deny bail to a defendant whose offense brings life sentences, and three states (Arizona, Missouri, and Alabama) deny bail solely based on immigration status.

Foley Law Offices is closely following all areas of immigration as the field evolves. If you have questions or concerns about your immigration situation, call Foley Law Offices at (617) 973-6448 and speak with an immigration attorney today.

Original Article visa USA Today: