Council Files Amicus Brief on Opportunity for Detained Migrants with Prior Removal Orders Seeking Humanitarian Protection to be Released on Bond


November 12, 2020

The amicus brief in Pham v. Guzman Chavez urges the Supreme Court to find that the pre-final order detention statute—8 U.S.C. § 1226(a)—applies to detained noncitizens with prior removal orders who have meritorious claims for a form of humanitarian protection known as withholding of removal. Importantly, Section 1226(a) allows these individuals the opportunity for a bond hearing.

The brief argues that applying the post-final order statute—8 U.S.C. § 1231(a)—to such individuals, thus subjecting them to mandatory detention, violates our international human rights commitments. Specifically, U.S. law adopted international principles that protect individuals from return to a country where an individual fears persecution. The brief then describes stories of individuals who have gone through withholding-only proceedings, highlighting the lengthy time periods they spent in detention and the impact of that detention.   

The American Immigration Council filed this amicus brief with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Asylum Defense Project (ADP), the Bronx Defenders, Brooklyn Defender Services, the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition (CAIR), the Legal Aid Society, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), and the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network (RMIAN).

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