Immigration Law

CA11 on Mandatory Detention, Bond, Habeas: Sopo v. U.S. Atty. Gen.

Sopo v. U.S. Attorney General, June 15, 2016- "We recount Sopo’s: (1) personal background; (2) protracted removal proceedings; and (3) federal habeas case. We then discuss (4) the federal statutory framework governing the civil detention of criminal aliens and (5) Supreme Court decisions analyzing the constitutionality of immigration detention statutes, which leads us to conclude, as a matter of constitutional avoidance, that § 1226(c) contains an implicit temporal limitation against the unreasonably prolonged detention of criminal aliens without an individualized bond hearing. After reaching this holding, we (6) establish an approach for determining when the removal proceedings and the resulting § 1226(c) mandatory detention of a criminal alien become unreasonably protracted, triggering the need for a bond hearing. We also (7) settle on a mechanism the government must follow to give that detained criminal alien a bond hearing. Finally, we (8) apply our holdings to Sopo’s case and (9) conclude that he must receive an immediate bond hearing as habeas relief."

[Hats off to appointed counsel David Frederick and Joshua Branson, and amici Michael Tan, Judy Rabinovitz, Eunice Cho and Rebecca Sharpless!]