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Supreme Court rules against migrant detainees seeking bond hearings

A gate erected by Capitol Police surrounds the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday as the court ruled on a pair of immigration cases. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/cb1bf51ee69e76d81f5776fdb50480c3/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
A gate erected by Capitol Police surrounds the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday as the court ruled on a pair of immigration cases. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

June 13 (UPI) -- The Supreme Court ruled against migrants being held in long-term detention in a pair of related decisions issued Monday, striking down their claims of a right to bond hearings.

In the both cases, Johnson vs. Arteaga-Martinez and Garland vs. Aleman Gonzalez, the high court found against non-U.S. citizens seeking to end their lengthy detentions while fighting deportation orders issued against them.

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The undocumented migrants in both cases argued they are entitled to bond hearings while being held under Section 1231 of the U.S. Code, also known as the post-removal order statute.

The law allows the government to keep such migrants locked up in detention even as they seek to establish amnesty claims that they will be persecuted or tortured if deported to their native countries. Such cases can take months or even years to decide.

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In its 8-1 ruling on Johnson vs. Arteaga-Martinez, the Supreme Court held that the text of Section 1231 does not obligate the government to provide bond hearings after six months of detention in such cases.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the opinion and was joined in full by seven other justices. Justice Stephen Breyer, meanwhile, concurred with part of the decision and dissented on another part.

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Meanwhile, the court ruled against migrants by a 6-3 margin in the related case of Garland vs. Aleman Gonzalez.

The latter case was a consolidated class-action suit in which claimants similarly argued that detainees held under the post-removal order statute are entitled to bond hearings after six months.

The high court's decision also overturned a lower court ruling finding that such detainees were entitled to class-wide injunctive relief.

In the majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito said the Immigration and Nationality Act "generally prohibits lower courts from entering injunctions" ordering immigration officials to refrain from enforcing the country's statutes regarding immigration.

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