Supreme Court: US can deport convicted refugees without destination consent

[JURIST] In addition to its long-awaited sentencing ruling in Booker [JURIST report], the US Supreme Court Wednesday handed down two immigration-related decisions. In Jama v. INS [Duke Law backgrounder], the Court narrowly held 5-4 (Souter, Stevens, Ginsburg and Breyer JJ. dissenting) that a refugee living in the US - in this instance a Somalian from a country with no functioning government - could be deported after receiving a criminal conviction, even if their country of destination does not consent to the repatriation. Read the opinion. In the consolidated cases of Clark v. Martinez and Benitez v. Wallis [Duke Law backgrounder], the Court ruled by the larger margin of 7-2 (Justice Thomas and Chief Justice Rehnquist dissenting) that the US could only hold an illegal immigrant subject to a deportation order who could not be returned to his or her home country for "so long as is reasonably necessary to achieve removal", indicating that habeas would be granted if there is "no significant likelihood of removal in the reasonably foreseeable future." Read the opinion.



 

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