Jennings v. Rodriguez

Justia Summary

After a 2004 conviction, Rodriguez, a Mexican citizen and a lawful U.S. permanent resident, was detained under 8 U.S.C. 1226 while the government sought his removal. In 2007, Rodriguez sought habeas relief, claiming that he was entitled to a bond hearing to determine whether his continued detention was justified, alleging that 8 U.S.C. 1225(b), 1226(a), and 1226(c) do not authorize “prolonged” detention without an individualized bond hearing at which the government proves by clear and convincing evidence that detention remains justified. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the entry of an injunction. The Supreme Court reversed; the sections do not give detained aliens the right to periodic bond hearings. “Read most naturally,” sections 1225(b)(1) and (b)(2) mandate detention of applicants for admission until immigration officers have finished considering the asylum application or until removal proceedings have concluded, without imposing a time limit or reference to bond hearings. There is a specific provision authorizing temporary parole “for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit,” implying that there are no other circumstances under which section 1225(b) detainees may be released. Section 1226(c)’s language allows aliens to be released “only if ” the Attorney General decides that certain conditions are met. Nothing in the section supports the imposition of periodic bond hearings nor does it hint that the length of detention before the bond hearing must be considered in determining whether an alien should be released. On remand, the Ninth Circuit should consider the merits of Rodriguez’s constitutional arguments in the first instance.