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SPLC statement on Supreme Court’s decision in Jennings v. Rodriguez

We are disappointed by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling today in Jennings v. Rodriguez

In reversing the Ninth Circuit’s decision, the Supreme Court allowed some immigrants to be detained for years without the right to intermittent bond hearings to determine whether their continued detention is justified.

We doubt that Congress so fundamentally ignored the principles of fairness, justice, and proportionality upon which our system is based, but with the Supreme Court so interpreting the statute, the courts must determine whether the statute passes constitutional muster.

Prolonged and indefinite detention of people is cruel, a waste of resources, and a needless boon to the private prison companies who profit off of long-term detention. The Supreme Court has directed the lower court to expressly consider whether the Constitution allows the indefinite detention of immigrants. We hope the Ninth Circuit upholds the basic American value that no government may detain someone without judicial review and basic fairness.

Through our Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative (SIFI), the SPLC will continue representing people in immigration bond hearings to safeguard due process and protect civil rights. 

We also are committed to double down in our efforts to engage in litigation and other advocacy challenging the constitutionality of indefinite detention and other violations of immigrants’ civil and human rights.