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Immigration and Border Security Supreme Court to hear arguments in class action suit brought by ACLU, Stanford Law School challenging prolonged detection by DHS of noncitizens, with no right to bond hearing Last month, the Supreme Court announced that, in fall 2016, it will hear arguments in Jennings v. Rodriguez, a challenge to the prolonged detention of noncitizens in removal proceedings. At issue is whether the government can keep a noncitizen who is fighting her deportation case locked up for however long the notoriously lengthy proceedings last, or whether she must receive a bond hearing after she has been detained for six months, where an immigration judge will decide, on an individualized basis, whether continued detention is necessary. The case, a class action brought by the ACLU and the Stanford Law School Immigrants’ Rights Clinic on behalf of noncitizens in the Central District of California, challenged the Department of Homeland Security’s practice of holding immigrants in prolonged civil detention without the opportunity for a bond hearing during their removal proceedings. Immigration detention is non-punitive – which means that the immigrants involved in the case are locked up not as a punishment for any crime for which they have been convicted, but rather as a preventative measure while courts consider their deportation cases. Yet members of the Rodriguez class have been locked up for months or years without the opportunity to argue that their detention was not justified. Class members were detained, on average, thirteen months. Those class members who vigorously argued that they are entitled to remain in the United States stayed locked up for far longer than those who conceded that they could be deported, creating an incentive for immigrants to give up meritorious claims for relief from deportation. Last year, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decided the case in favor of the plaintiffs. The Court held that the government must provide class members with 26 bond hearings in front of immigration judges after six months of detention–and, if they remain detained, that class members must have additional bond hearings every six months. At those hearings, government attorneys must establish by clear and convincing evidence that the particular individual involved is a flight risk or a danger to the community in order to justify denial of bond. The decision does not require the government to release any noncitizen held in prolonged More on page 44 James R. Browning Court of Appeals Photo: Jeff Kubina
Most Americans reject Trump’s nativist agenda, according to survey conducted by Brookings Institution and Public Religion Research Institute By Walter Ewing Republican presidential contender Donald Trump may claim to speak in the name of the “American people,” but the fact is that most Americans continue to reject his nativist rhetoric of fear and hate. This is apparent from the results of a survey conducted by the Brookings Institution and Public Religion Research Institute between April 4 and May 2, 2016. The survey reveals that, despite a great deal of collective anxiety over terrorism and the impact of growing immigrant communities on U.S. society, most Americans do not buy into harsh views on immigration. As a starting point, the survey examined how many Americans are worried about a terrorist attack. Given the terrorist shootings in San Bernardino and in Paris at the end of 2015 (the survey was conducted before the Orlando massacre), it comes as no surprise that just over half (51 percent) of survey respondents “report feeling somewhat or very worried that they or a member of their family will become a victim of terrorism.” This marks an increase of 18 percentage points since late 2014, when only 33 percent of respondents harbored such a fear. Yet, despite these fears, most respondents did not succumb to the temptation to scapegoat all immigrants or all Muslims for the actions of a relatively small numbers of terrorists. For instance, 58 percent “oppose placing a temporary ban on Muslims from other countries entering the U.S.,” compared to 40 percent who support 27 such a measure. Likewise, 55 percent “oppose passing a law that would deny Syrian refugees entrance to the U.S.,” while 44 percent support such a law. Nor did most respondents buy into Trump’s views on the U.S.- Mexico border, undocumented immigration, or the economic impact of immigrants. Among the respondents: • 61 percent “say immigrants living in the U.S. illegally should be allowed a way to become citizens,” compared to 21 percent say that they should be deported. • 58 percent oppose building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico bor- More on page 29