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Immigrants must be given bond hearing after 6 months in detention, appeals court rules

9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that detained immigrants with amnesty cases should get bond hearings.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

The 9th Circuit, with a Trump appointee providing the critical vote, says detained immigrants must be given bond hearings within six months.

A federal appeals court decided 2-1 Tuesday that detained immigrants facing deportation and possible persecution in their home countries must be given bond hearings after six months.

The ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in which a Trump appointee cast the deciding vote, is likely to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Aleman Gonzalez and Gutierrez Sanchez, natives and citizens of Mexico, were ordered deported even though asylum officers decided that each had a reasonable fear of persecution or torture in Mexico. They asked for bond hearings after being detained for 180 days, but were denied them. The two men are part of a class-action case that could affect hundreds of others in their situation.

Ten new judges in 3 years have turned the federal appeals court far more conservative than it has been in decades. And the full effect hasn’t hit yet, judges say.

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Tuesday’s decision was written by 9th Circuit Judge Milan D. Smith Jr., appointed by President George W. Bush. Judge Eric D. Miller, a Trump appointee, joined the ruling.

Judge Ferdinand F. Fernandez, appointed by President George H.W. Bush, dissented, saying the decision was inconsistent with U.S. Supreme Court precedent.


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