Albence, Matthew T. v. Chavez, Maria A.

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Immigration
  • Date Filed: June 15, 2020
  • Case #: 19-897
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: 940 F.3d 867 (4th Cir. 2019)
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether the detention of an alien who is subject to a reinstated removal order and who is pursuing withholding or deferral of removal is governed by 8 U.S.C. 1231, or instead by 8 U.S.C. 1226.

Upon order of removal, authorities removed Respondents, who are aliens, from the United States. Respondents then reentered the United States illegally. Authorities again took each Respondent into custody. Upon being taken into custody, each alien’s prior removal order was restored. In the cases of each Respondent, asylum officers found that they had a “reasonable fear of persecution or torture in his or her native country.” Due to the Respondents’ fear, each “was placed in withholding-only proceedings before an immigration judge.” The government denied each Respondent’s request for a bond determination in front of an immigration judge, reasoning that Section 1231 governed the detentions rather than Section 1226. Respondents responded by filing two cases to challenge the government’s conclusion. Respondents pursued writs of habeas corpus, statements that Section 1226 governed their detention, and rulings “requiring that individualized bond determinations consistent with Section 1226.” Both cases filed by respondents were both awarded summary judgment by the district court. On appeal, the court of appeals merged Romero and Diaz, and held that 1226 governs when a detained alien is “subject to a reinstated order of removal.” Petitioner argues that the court of appeals erred in its ruling that Section 1226 governs withholding-only proceedings regarding the detention of an alien and contends that Section 1231 governs.

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