Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds District Court Order Requiring Government to Provide Bond Hearings
Seattle, WA – The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a district court order requiring the government to provide bond hearings to certain immigrants after they have been detained for six months. The case is Flores Tejada v. Godfrey.
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project represents the plaintiffs – a class of asylum seekers who previously demonstrated a credible fear of returning to their home countries to an immigration officer but were not provided individualized statutory bond hearings before an immigration judge. The ruling applies to individuals who are placed in “withholding-only” immigration proceedings as they pursue a defense to deportation known as withholding of removal.
The Ninth Circuit upheld the lower court’s ruling that individuals in the class have a right to a bond hearing under immigration law, and that they also have a constitutional right such that the government should have the burden of establishing by clear and convincing evidence the need for continued detention.
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project Legal Director Matt Adams said regarding today’s decision: “too often prolonged detention is used to force people to give up on their applications for protection. Today’s decision upholds a critical safeguard, making clear that the government cannot keep people locked up months on end without any right to a bond hearing. And this ruling is particularly important at this moment as the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the risks for people remaining in immigration detention.”
You can read the Court’s decision here.