Saturday, January 22, 2011

Oral Argument Upcoming: Diop/Alli cases Jan. 24, 2011

Two cases that have been consolidated for appeal purposes look fascinating and will be argued on Monday, January 24, 2011 in Philadelphia at 10am before Judges Fuentes, Chagares, and District Judge Pollak.

The cases are Chiekh Diop v. ICE and Homeland Security (Case No. 10-1113) and Alexander Alli v. Thomas Decker (Case No. 10-2297).

It is difficult to tell for certain, but it is likely that the cases involve the issue of how the ACLU challenges whether the government can detain people for prolonged periods of time (sometimes for many years) while they fight their immigration cases without giving them any hearing to check whether detaining them would be justified.

Even though the Supreme Court has said mandatory detention without review of some types of immigrants might be allowed for short periods, the case law is unclear about prolonged detention without any review. There are very strong arguments why it should be illegal to hold anyone based on impersonal categorizations for a prolonged period of time without offering any opportunity for an immigration judge to review whether the detention would be justified in that specific case.

The oral argument should be very interesting and I hope the ACLU can convince the Third Circuit to step in and make sure immigrants have the ability to have their detention reviewed by an immigration judge when they would be held for a prolonged period.

This is an extremely important issue and the Third Circuit has an excellent opportunity to focus on the issue. It is so important that the Third Circuit should issue a ruling even if it turns out at some point that the particular individuals involved in the cases no longer personally need a ruling. The issue will come up again in many other cases and the Third Circuit should relieve immigrants of the extreme suffering of prolonged detention if it would be illegal for the government to do it without any judicial review.

Letting it go on despite being illegal would not be a good use of the court's time or resources.

Update: the Third Circuit ruled in Diop that mandatory detention must be limited to a reasonable time period. See a different post for a practice advisory from the ACLU.


Anonymous LearningByReading said...

Do you know anything about Pollak's record on cases of this ilk? I have a hunch I know :)

8:58 PM  

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