On October 10, 2018, the Supreme Court heard argument in a critical case on immigration detention: Nielsen v. Preap. At issue in this class action brought on behalf of immigrant detainees is the meaning of the word “when” in a provision of the federal immigration statute that requires the mandatory detention (that is, detention in ICE custody with no possibility of release while removal proceedings are pending) of certain immigrants “when” they are released from criminal detention. The broader issue is whether ICE can detain an immigrant that it did not detain immediately upon the immigrant’s release from criminal detention. The plaintiffs argue that the mandatory detention provision should be interpreted to exclude immigrants who were not immediately detained upon release from criminal detention. The government argues that these immigrants are not excepted and that the government can detain them at any time after they are released from criminal detention. This distinction is critical for plaintiff Mony Preap and many other immigrants who were long ago released from criminal custody, sometimes for very minor crimes, and returned to their communities -- where they have built lives, families, and homes and contributed to their communities for years -- and who are now being detained by the government and held without any possibility of release while removal proceedings are pending.
by the NAPAWF Legal Team
AP(Eye) on the Courts is our law blog written by NAPAWF’s legal team. The blog highlights and discusses significant legal cases and updates, particularly those that impact AAPI women and women of color regarding reproductive, immigrant, and economic justice.