This year, there could be up to 500,000 people detained in federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers, jails, and private prisons. While some are detained a few weeks, others may be held for months or even years while they challenge their removal before the immigration courts and on appeal.
The initial challenge to indefinite detention, Rodriguez, et al. v. Robbins, et al., was filed in 2007 at the federal district court. Alejandro Rodriguez, who had been detained for 3 years awaiting his deportation without a bond hearing, challenged the government’s authority to detain him indefinitely. The Ninth Circuit upheld the lower court’s order requiring the detainees to receive bond hearings after six months of detention and every six months following to address their detainment while pending their deportation proceedings.
Throughout the Ninth Circuit, Rodriguez hearings have been provided regularly, resulting in the release of people from detention while they pursue their claims to remain in the United States. Following the Court’s order, people detained outside the Ninth Circuit will continue to face indefinite detention until the Court rules next year.
The Advocates for Human Rights recognizes the fundamental human rights of the rights of asylum, due process, fair deportation procedures, freedom from arbitrary detention, family unity, as well as other rights as an approach to immigration.
By Michele Garnett McKenzie, Deputy Director of The Advocates for Human Rights