On Monday, the United States Supreme Court ruled that unlawful migrants to the United States are not entitled to a bond hearing. The opinion stems from the migration of Antonio Arteaga-Martinez.
Arteaga-Martinez, a Mexican Citizen, came to the United States unlawfully on four occasions without inspection until May 2018, when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a warrant for Arteaga-Martinez’s arrest after he had been living and working in the United States for almost six years. ICE’s detention of Arteaga-Martinez did not come with the opportunity for a bond hearing and he was set to be removed from the United States.
Arteaga-Martinez's attorney appealed in an attempt to stop his removal from the United States, citing his fear of prosecution or torture in Mexico. The DHS Asylum Officer who heard Martinez’s testimony found it to be reasonable and credible and referred Arteaga-Martinez to an immigration judge.
Arteaga-Martinez would remain in detention absent a ruling by an immigration judge, so, by his attorney, Arteaga-Martinez asked the U.S District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania to bring him before the court in what is known as a “Writ of Habeas Corpus” petition. This petition pivoted from the claims of fears of prosecution and instead argued his continued detention without a bond hearing was violative of his Federal Statutory Law and Constitutional rights.
In a bond hearing, the Government would be expected to establish by clear and convincing evidence that a non-citizen, such as Arteaga-Martinez, either poses a risk of flight or a danger to the community. An Immigration Judge presided over Arteaga-Martinez’s bond hearing, finding under Federal Law that he was entitled to release, and Arteaga-Martinez posted bond. The immigration judge, even today, has not ruled on whether to remove Arteaga-Martinez from the United States.
The opinion written by Sotomayor reverses the judgment of the lower courts and finds that the process provided by ICE provides sufficient procedural protections for non-citizens, and that Arteaga-Martinez was not entitled to a bond hearing before an immigration judge. The Supreme Court declined to address Arteaga-Martinez’s constitutional claims.
The decision comes on the heels of a string of controversies surrounding the continued existence of ICE and a concerted effort to grant illegal immigrants the same procedural and Constitutional rights as American citizens. In May, the Biden administration appointed a radical activist who wants to "abolish ICE" as an immigration judge.
Cases involving the detention of unlawful migrants from Mexico are increasing as the number of border crossings continue to rise. Between April 1st and the second week of May, over half a million migrants crossed the US border in just 10 weeks.
The Supreme Court rulings this week are under close watch, as many wait for the anticipated overturn of Roe v. Wade following a leaked draft of the decision in May.
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