Supreme Court: Detained aliens are not entitled to US citizen right

At a protest against Arizona immigration law

One of the frustrating things about the problem of illegal “immigration” in America is that illegal aliens and their advocates demand — and are given —  rights that U.S. citizens have. To add injury to insult, illegal aliens are accorded public defenders — all paid for by taxpayers.

One of those rights is the right to bond after arrest and to bond hearings (Galantar Law):

  • Right to bond: When an individual is arrested, he/she is entitled to bond out of jail immediately.
  • Right to bond hearing: If you are being held without bond or you can’t afford the standard bond, you will need a bond hearing to get released. The hearing must take place within 24 hours of your arrest. If you are still in jail after your initial hearing appearance, you will need a criminal defense attorney to get you a bond or get your bond amount lowered. If you have a high bond, a lawyer can file a motion to lower your bond with your trial judge. At that time you must show that you are not a flight risk and that you have good ties to the community.

On February 27, 2018, in Jennings v. Rodriguez, the Supreme Court ruled 5-3 that detained aliens in the United States, such as asylum seekers and permanent residents, do not have the right to periodic bond hearings during the course of their detention. 

In effect and by implication, the government can detain non-citizen aliens for an indefinite period.

The 5 justices are Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Neil Gorsuch; the dissenting 3 justices are Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor. Elena Kagan recused herself, as she should, because she had been involved in Jennings v. Rodriguez as solicitor general in the Obama administration.

The History

The lead plaintiff in Jennings v. Rodriguez is Alejandro Rodriguez who came to the U.S. from Mexico as a child, was convicted for joyriding as a teenager, and became a U.S. permanent resident in 1987. In 2004, 24-year-old Rodriguez, still a Mexican citizen, was convicted and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance. He remained in detention while the government sought to deport him to Mexico.

In May 2007, while still litigating his removal, Rodriguez filed a habeas corpus petition, claiming that:

  1. His “prolonged” detention was unjustified in the absence of a bond hearing.
  2. He was entitled to an individualized bond hearing.
  3. In that hearing, the government must prove by clear and convincing evidence that his continuing detention is justified.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) took up Rodriguez’s case and filed a class action lawsuit. The infamous Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Rodriguez and the ACLU — that immigrant detainees and asylum seekers can’t be detained indefinitely and that they have a right to a bond hearing every six months, unless the government can show that the detainee would pose a danger or become a flight risk if set free.

And so, the ACLU won Rodriguez’s release and the cancellation of his deportation order. He remains in the U.S.

The Obama administration appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that Congress — not the courts — has the power to make immigration law and that the law allows the government to detain “criminal and terrorist aliens” as well as “aliens seeking admission to the United States.” The Trump administration continued the case by asserting that detained immigrants should not be recognized as a class that could bring legal action, but should rely on individual habeas corpus petitions to challenge their detentions.

The Ruling

Justice Samuel Alito penned the majority opinion in Jennings v. Rodriguez:

Every day, immigration officials must determine whether to admit or remove the many aliens who have arrived at an official “port of entry”… or who have been apprehended trying to enter the country at an unauthorized location. Immigration officials must also determine on a daily basis whether there are grounds for removing any of the aliens who are already present inside the country. The vast majority of these determinations are quickly made, but in some cases deciding whether an alien should be admitted or removed is not as easy. As a result, Congress has authorized immigration officials to detain some classes of aliens during the course of certain immigration proceedings. Detention during those proceedings gives immigration officials time to determine an alien’s status without running the risk of the alien’s either absconding or engaging in criminal activity before a final decision can be made. […]

To implement its immigration policy, the Government must be able to decide (1) who may enter the country and (2) who may stay here after entering. […] Even once inside the United States, aliens do not have an absolute right to remain here. For example, an alien present in the country may still be removed if he or she falls “within one or more . . . classes of deportable aliens.” §1227(a). That includes aliens who were inadmissible at the time of entry or who have been convicted of certain criminal offenses since admission. […]

U. S. immigration law authorizes the Government to detain certain aliens seeking admission into the country under §§1225(b)(1) and (b)(2). It also authorizes the Government to detain certain aliens already in the country pending the outcome of removal proceedings under §§1226(a) and (c). The primary issue is the proper interpretation of §§1225(b), 1226(a), and 1226(c). […]

In their complaint, Rodriguez and the other respondents argued that the relevant statutory provisions—§§1225(b), 1226(a), and 1226(c)—do not authorize “prolonged” detention in the absence of an individualized bond hearing at which the Government proves by clear and convincing evidence that the class member’s detention remains justified. Absent such a bond-hearing requirement, respondents continued, those three provisions would violate the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. […]

And so, the Supreme Court ruled that:

Immigration officials are authorized to detain certain aliens in the course of immigration proceedings while they determine whether those aliens may be lawfully present in the country. For example, §1225(b) of Title 8 of the U. S. Code authorizes the detention of certain aliens seeking to enter the country. Section 1225(b)(1) applies to aliens initially determined to be inadmissible due to fraud, misrepresentation, or lack of valid documentation, and to certain other aliens designated by the Attorney General in his discretion. 

Section 1225(b)(2) is a catchall provision that applies to most other applicants for admission not covered by §1225(b)(1). Under §1225(b)(1), aliens are normally ordered removed “without further hearing or review,” §1225(b)(1)(A)(i), but an alien indicating either an intention to apply for asylum or a credible fear of persecution, §1225(b)(1)(A)(ii), “shall be detained” while that alien’s asylum application is pending, §1225(b)(1)(B)(ii). Aliens covered by §1225(b)(2) in turn “shall be detained for a [removal] proceeding” if an immigration officer “determines that [they are] not clearly and beyond a doubt entitled” to admission. §1225(b)(2)(A).

The Government is also authorized to detain certain aliens already in the country [referring to legal permanent residents like Alejandro Rodriguez]. Section 1226(a)’s default rule permits the Attorney General to issue warrants for the arrest and detention of these aliens pending the outcome of their removal proceedings. The Attorney General “may release” these aliens on bond, “[e]xcept as provided in subsection (c) of this section.” Section 1226(c) in turn states that the Attorney General “shall take into custody any alien” who falls into one of the enumerated categories involving criminal offenses and terrorist activities, §1226(c)(1), and specifies that the Attorney General “may release” one of those aliens “only if the Attorney General decides” both that doing so is necessary for witness-protection purposes and that the alien will not pose a danger or flight risk, §1226(c)(2). […]

Nothing in §1226(a), which authorizes the Attorney General to arrest and detain an alien “pending a decision” on removal and which permits the Attorney General to release the alien on bond, supports the imposition of periodic bond hearings every six months in which the Attorney General must prove by clear and convincing evidence that continued detention is necessary.

Writing for the liberal NPR, Domenico Montanaro, Richard Gonzalez and Nina Totenberg point out that:

The case, Jennings v. Rodriguez, has implications for legal permanent residents whom the government wants to deport because they committed crimes and for asylum seekers who are awaiting a court date after turning themselves in at the border. Immigrant advocates contend that many of these immigrants have a right to be free on bail until their case is heard.

The decision reversed a Ninth Circuit ruling, but this is not the last word and could come back to the high court. The Supreme Court sent the case the back to the lower court with two questions unresolved. First, whether indefinite detention without a chance for bail is unconstitutional. Second, whether the challenge to that no-bail provision can be brought as a class action, instead of as individual cases.

Writing for the dissenting minority opinion, an outraged and hyperbolic Justice Stephen G. Breyer called SCOTUS’ Jennings v. Rodriguez ruling “legal fiction” that would leave the government “free to starve, beat, or lash those held within our boundaries”.

See also:



33 responses to “Supreme Court: Detained aliens are not entitled to US citizen right

  1. Excellent news, common sense prevails.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Hadenoughalready

    Excellent news!
    I’m going to repeat myself and state unequivocally that, akin to unicorns, there’s NO SUCH THING as an “illegal immigrant”.
    An “immigrant” comes through the front door with permission of the owner.
    An “illegal” breaks-in in spite of the owner’s objections.
    Those here “illegally” are aliens – foreign entities present without permission.

    Let’s get back to calling them “illegal aliens”, such as they are. Enough of this politically correct line of bullshit. It only confuses the situation.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hadenoughalready . . . . My opinion is that you are savvy enough and understand the laws of this land to the point that would say you could replace Justice Steven G Beyer on the Supreme Court. It is high time that our “C-O-U-R-T-S” get back to business, brush up on Our Constitution and proceed again with doing the people’s judicial business. All of this nonsense of thinking that “illegal guests” here in our country are to be afforded the same rights as “legal citizens” is just a plain travesty. Besides being down right STUPID!

      I would wonder if people who see those in authority authorizing the provision of attorney’s to represent illegal aliens in court, paid for out of the public treasury; or the payment of bonds, or anything else that an illegal guest in our country . . . . the person actually seeing this grievance should be able to call someone in the DA’s office to report this act as an illegal act in view of the above judgement put out by the SCOTUS.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. On that protester’s sign board;

    “You owe us America!”

    Hey, Pedro, the only thing we ‘owe’ you is a complete asskicking and deportation.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Even though Snopes claims it’s “undetermined” (due to supposed digital manipulation they don’t examine) somehow…

      Liked by 2 people

    • Silhouette . . . . Bravo! I really hate the fact that these illegals actually think that we “owe the something!” I would say your solution just about fits the bill!

      Since I am in a cranky mood, I am going to add this: We had Mexican neighbors who just up and sold their house and are gone, this happened in January. I knew that they had a cute little brown bunny, who used to come over and I would find him in my flower bed, but he did not seem to do any damage. Unbeknownst to me . . . those dirt bags just up and left, as I found the little guy outside this morning. What kind of a POS leaves an animal without food or water? Sorry, but I had to get this off my chest!q I put out a dish of water, and some cat food. I didn’t have any lettuce . . . can anyone tell me what I should be feeding a bunny?

      Liked by 1 person

      • God bless you, Auntie Lulu, for giving the poor abandoned rabbit a home. Rabbits like veggies, apples, and almonds. Pet stores sell rabbit food in pellets.

        If I lived anywhere near you, I would adopt the bunny in a heartbeat. Years ago, at 6 am in sub-freezing temp in January, I found a baby white rabbit in my carport, abandoned by his owner. He was so emaciated, his cheeks were sunken. I had never seen a rabbit with sunken cheeks. I named him Erasmus, and put him in a large hutch in a guest bedroom. In the morning when he first saw me, he would leap in the air and shake his long ears. I read in a rabbit book that it’s rabbit body language for happy.


        • Tears Dr E. about your white bunny adoption. I just “inherited” 4 – just week’s old kittens in our uncharacteristic freezing night temps/cold days here in So Cal. Long story— due to abandonment. I have too many fur babies in my own home now, but we will raise them to be able to eat and drink on their own and try to find homes through our work places and the local shelter. A happy note….the one we thought might not survive..the “runt” is the most vigorous now! We call her “Dora the Explorer” b/c she is out of the “nest” all over the place, climbing stairs, following our footsteps, craving human contact….”dancing” across the living room….What a JOY to be given this “gift” of life to foster!

          Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s right, OUT OF HERE, boot their asses, NO ROOM for undesirable scum bags, THE SOONER THE BETTER

    Liked by 3 people

  5. My understanding was that, as Alito’s opinion states, immigrants legitimately seeking asylum are entitled to certain rights that ordinarily aren’t afforded non-citizens — to protect them. Unless and until they commit crimes.
    Beyond that, I find the entire case confusing, including the background on the lead “plaintiff”, such as when he became a citizen, when he became a criminal, etc. But I think the confusion is part of the goal of the left, who want ALL laws and their enforcement concerning immigrants to be dropped…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Supreme Court: Detained aliens are not entitled to US citizen right | The Olive Branch Report

  7. I have to confess to a certain amount of confusion over his status now. If he was a “Permanent Resident” when he was convicted of the drug offense, did they cancel his status, or is that the subject of the action taking place?

    If they have had a hearing and cancelled his status it seems that all that remains is for him to be deported. I understand that he’s fighting this.

    Said a different way, “bail” is to allow someone to be free from jail until their case is adjudicated. It is hard for me to imagine it taking such a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I saw no reference to Rodriguez’s current status — if he’s still a U.S. permanent resident — in the Supreme Court ruling or news articles on this case. But according to an immigration attorney (–1744603.html): “A permanent resident can lose his or her status for immigration fraud, criminal activity, such as a crime of moral turpitude, or an aggravated felony, and for abandonment, by living outside of the United States for more than six months. Obviously, all of these rules are quite technical. Of course, the cards themselves also expire, usually within 10 years.”

      Since Rodriguez became a permanent resident in 1987, his “green” card would have expired in 1997.

      Liked by 2 people

      • DR Eowyn . . . . Wonderful break down on the background, particularly the fact that his “green card” would have expired in 1997. All I can say is “Boot him out of the country already!”

        Liked by 2 people

      • Yes thank you. That’s what I meant. I really can’t tell what his status is. If he still has legal standing, then there would be a crime for which he’s charged that would have a definite trial date.

        It it is a hearing about his status, I have no idea how long those things take. Presumably, if they have a hearing and he loses his status, he should be processed for deportation.

        He doesn’t have to have legal status to serve time for a crime. If that were the case he’d have plenty of time to resolve his immigration issues while he rotted in jail.

        That’s why I got lost. It reads as if the drug charge is all finished (somehow). If so, what is he fighting? My guess would be deportation. If they have already determined that he should be deported, what’s keeping them? My guess there is that he’s filed an appeal.

        So he must have a lawyer that is delaying this with motions and he wants to be free on bond while they run out the clock.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. There might yet be hope for our America.

    • Maybe.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Reblogged this on kommonsentsjane and commented:

    Reblogged on kommonsentsjane/blogkommonsents.

    Hope the Democrats get the word:

    Supreme Court: Detained aliens are not entitled to US citizen right


    Liked by 1 person

  10. When will they vote to retire Ginsberg,she sleeps all the time anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kennith . . . . That is a superb idea! It is beyond idiocy that this old woman, Ginsberg, has been allowed to remain on the Supreme Court. Since she will not retire on her own, there should be a way of forcing her out of the court. We American’s deserve better than a sleepin’ old granny at the highest court in the land.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Mirror the alien’s home country’s immigration policy, then simply implement it accordingly!

    Operation: Reciprocity

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on On the Patio and commented:

    the key here is illegal. If you are not a citizen you are not in any way entitled to citizen rights. Pretty straight forward actually!

    Liked by 1 person

    • bzerob . . . . The way you have expressed it, even one suffering from dimwittedness should be able to understand . . . “Illegals do not have the same rights as Citizens.” Unfortunately, we have such a gaggle of leftists that refuse, deliberately refuse to acknowledge that Our Constitution means what it says!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Did anyone notice the sign the guy in the picture was holding it said we will shoot more Arizona police till we get free. So they will murder to get Americanism for them. So you threaten to murder out police your getting more money now that most SS recipients as it is. I think the last figure I saw was over 300 billion that they were sucking the system dry. So why any American would want you here is beyond me.Every American needs to stand up say something do something and take back our country.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian . . . . God Bless you for bringing forward that most excellent point!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Democraps need the votes. You should read a copy of “La Raza”. If people had any sense they’d be chasing them back to Mexico. They have the same mentality that others have here. Somehow, they want Whitey to give them free stuff and shut up. They can be as troublesome and insulting as they like.

      Liked by 1 person

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