Each year, hundreds of thousands of people undergo a complex administrative process to determine whether they will be deported or permitted to remain in the United States. Roughly half of all asylum seekers and noncitizens placed in removal proceedings are permitted to remain.Longtime lawful permanent residents receive cancellation of removal; fathers, mothers, and children fleeing persecution receive asylum; cases are terminated in light of legal errors. Decisions not to deport are a critical part of the fairness of the removal process. Such decisions carry out Congress’s intent to maintain family unity and offer humanitarian relief through our nation’s immigration laws.
The Government argues that detention is designed to facilitate the removal process. See Gov’t Br. 33. But when detention extends from weeks to months to years without meaningful review, such detention perverts the removal process, both by punishing immigrants who will ultimately remain in the U.S. with their families, and by coercing immigrants with strong cases to forego their claims. Procedures short of bond hearings, and reliance on ad-hoc litigation, are insufficient to protect against these harms. Rather, as the stories and data discussed below demonstrate, this Court should ensure that individuals in prolonged detention have access to constitutionally adequate bond hearings.