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SCOTUS Endorses Trump Immigration Hardline… Again

Supreme Court upholds Trump
The Supreme Court handed President Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies another victory on Tuesday as the Nation’s highest court endorsed the U.S. government's authority to detain immigrants awaiting deportation anytime - potentially even years - after they have completed prison terms for criminal convictions.

It will surprise no one that the court ruling split 5-4 along ideological lines, with its conservative justices in the majority and its liberal justices dissenting, that federal authorities could pick up such immigrants and place them into indefinite detention anytime, not just immediately after they finish their prison sentences.

Our friends at NewsMax reported that the ruling, authored by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, left open the possibility that some individual immigrants could challenge their detention. These immigrants potentially could argue that the use of the 1996 federal law involved in the case, the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act, against them long after finishing their sentences would violate their due process rights under the U.S. Constitution.

According to the NewsMax analysis, the law states the government can detain convicted immigrants "when the alien is released" from criminal detention. Civil rights lawyers argued that the language of the law shows that it applies only immediately after immigrants are released. The Trump administration said the government should have the power to detain such immigrants anytime.

It is not the court's job, Alito wrote, to impose a time limit for when immigrants can be detained after serving a prison sentence. Alito noted that the court has said in the past that "an official's crucial duties are better carried out late than never."

Alito said the challengers' assertion that immigrants had to be detained within 24 hours of ending a prison sentence is "especially hard to swallow."

Tuesday's decision follows a February 2018 ruling in a similar case in which the conservative majority, over liberal dissent, curbed the ability of immigrants held in long-term detention during deportation proceedings to argue for release.

In both of the detention cases, the Supreme Court reversed the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a liberal leaning court that Trump has frequently criticized. In each case, litigation against the federal government started before Trump took office.

In the latest case, the administration had appealed a 2016 9th Circuit ruling that favored immigrants, a decision it said would undermine the government's ability to deport immigrants who have committed crimes.

The appeals court had said that convicted immigrants who are not immediately detained by immigration authorities after finishing their sentences but then later picked up by immigration authorities could seek bond hearings to argue for their release.

Under federal immigration law, now confirmed as good law by the Supreme Court, immigrants convicted of certain offenses are subject to mandatory detention during their deportation process. They can be held indefinitely without a bond hearing after completing their sentences.

These Supreme Court rulings are good news for the President (and for America) in that they keep criminal aliens off the streets and reduce the possibility (or rather likelihood) that they will abscond while they are awaiting deportation.

However, these Supreme Court rulings are only as good as the government’s willingness or ability to enforce the law, and, as our friend Daniel Horowitz noted in a recent article for Conservative Review, the government does do a very good job of deporting illegal aliens already scheduled for deportation.

According to Horowitz’s research into new data obtained by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) via a FOIA request, there are 644,488 illegal aliens remaining in our country who have already been served final deportation orders. And those are just from the top four countries of origin – El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. The IRLI shared much more data with Conservative Review. The total number of illegal aliens who remain in the country despite final deportation orders is 1,009,550.

In addition, Horowitz reports there are roughly 1.1 million others from those four counties who have “pending final orders” and are close to receiving deportation orders. Those with pending final orders are usually individuals who have already been ordered deported by immigration judges but are appealing their case to the Bureau of Immigration Appeals (BIA), the appellate body of the DOJ’s administrative immigration courts.

That is a total of 1.7 million illegal aliens from Mexico and Central America with final or near-final orders of deportation. Those numbers are as of June 2018, right before the largest surge in Central Americans began over that summer and intensified in the fall of 2018 and winter of 2019. The total number of those ordered deported or with pending deportation orders for nationals of all countries of origin is 2.55 million.

To put this in perspective, this means close to 1 percent of the US population are illegal aliens already not just eligible to be deported, required to be deported under existing law.

Putting aside the debate over bogus asylum admissions at our front door, with the recent Supreme Court rulings supporting President Trump’s policies, shouldn’t there be a comprehensive effort to empower and direct ICE to begin deporting as many of these people as possible?

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