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Salt Lake City joins cities asking high court to uphold rights for detained immigrants

Published February 15, 2017 8:35 am

Cities and counties argue in brief that they bear social costs when detainees are kept from families.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Salt Lake City was one of 20 U.S. cities and counties that has asked the Supreme Court to uphold a landmark ruling on the rights of detained immigrants.

Utah's capital was among cities and counties in 12 states to sign an amicus brief written on behalf of California's Santa Clara County.

"Certain groups of immigrants — including those with no criminal record and those entering the country to seek asylum — can be held indefinitely without ever receiving an individualized hearing for consideration of their release," said Salt Lake City Attorney Margaret Plane in a Monday news release. "The city has an interest in laws and policies that protect due process rights and allow for individualized consideration for release."

The case, now in its 10th year, involves a class-action lawsuit filed by Alejandro Rodriguez after he was detained for over three years without a bond hearing for joyriding and drug possession.

Rodriguez lived most of his life in the U.S. after emigrating from Mexico as a baby, but he was due for deportation until the ACLU intervened.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Rodriguez that detained immigrants must receive a bond hearing every six months at which an immigration judge can weigh the potential impacts of their release.

Cities and counties argue in last week's brief that they bear the social costs when detainees are separated from their families.

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski said in a statement: "This type of prolonged detention puts jobs at risk, creates obstacles to education, and generally hurts families living in our community."






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