Does 8 U.S.C. 1226(c) require that the Government immediately transfer a criminal alien from criminal custody to immigration custody in order for the Government to subject the criminal alien to mandatory detention without a bond hearing?
This case asks the Supreme Court to interpret the statutory construction of 8 U.S.C. § 1226(c) and ultimately decide how easy it will be for the Government to begin deportation proceedings against criminal aliens. Section 1226(c)(1) provides for the mandatory detention of criminal aliens who commit certain offenses. Mony Preap, an alien with two drug convictions that triggered mandatory detention under § 1226(c), and two other similarly situated aliens contend that, under this statute, the Department of Homeland Security must immediately arrest criminal aliens upon their release from criminal custody in order for mandatory detention to apply. The Government counters that narrowly construing the statute, as Preap proposes, would contradict Congress’s intent to reduce the growing threat to public safety posed by dangerous criminal aliens and their high risk of flight. The outcome of this case has implications for the Government’s ability to detain aliens without a bond hearing under § 1226(c) following their release from criminal custody and affects the ease with which the Government can initiate deportation proceedings against aliens.
Questions as Framed for the Court by the Parties
Whether a criminal alien becomes exempt from mandatory detention under 8 U.S.C. § 1226(c) if, after the alien is released from criminal custody, the Department of Homeland Security does not take the alien into immigration custody immediately.
This case involves three respondents, all who immigrated to the United States as children. Preap v. Johnson (9th Cir.) at 7–8. Respondent Mony Preap was born in a refugee camp after his family escaped the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and has been living in the United States as a lawful permanent resident since 1981. Id. at 7.
- Robert Barnes, Supreme Court to consider how fast government must act in detaining immigrants for deportation, The Washington Post (Mar. 19, 2018).
- Samantha Grasso, Supreme Court to decide if Trump administration can detain previously jailed immigrants, The Daily Dot (Mar. 20, 2018).
- Lorelei Laird, Supreme Court will hear case on immigration bond hearings for noncitizens convicted of crimes, ABA Journal (Mar. 19, 2018).
- Greg Stohr, Trump Appeal in Deportation Clash Gets U.S. Supreme Court Review, Bloomberg (Mar. 19, 2018).