The stories in this annotated amicus brief underscore the devastating impact of long-term detention on people held in detention and their families. We encourage you to click on the highlighted text throughout this brief to learn more about the people, the issues, and the stories.
An amicus curiae (Latin for “friend of the court”; plural, amici curiae) is a person or group who is not a party to a legal case, but who offers information relevant to the case to the court by submitting a legal document called an “amicus brief.”
The amici curiae on this brief are 58 community groups, immigrant rights organizations, law clinics, and legal service providers whose members and clients face the severe consequences of prolonged detention without bond hearings. Descriptions of each of the amici curiae are below.
STATEMENT OF INTEREST
Amici curiae are 58 community groups, immigrant rights organizations, law clinics, and legal service providers whose members and clients face the severe consequences of prolonged detention without bond hearings. We have a profound interest in ensuring that the voices of our members and clients are included in the resolution of this case. As explained below, their stories are not outliers. Rather, they are emblematic of an unjust system where access to constitutionally adequate bond hearings is far too arbitrary.
Detailed statements of interest for each organization are appended after the conclusion of this brief.
Summary of argument
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.