Immigrants detained in Southern California for six months or more are entitled to an immediate bond hearing, according to a new federal ruling.
The order was made by Senior U.S. District Judge Terry Hatter Jr. who said the hearing must be provided automatically rather than only at the request of the detainee.
The decision will effect more than 2,000 detainees in four facilities, the Los Angeles Times reports
"It's a hugely important ruling for immigrants in detention who now have their first opportunity to seek release on bond," Michael Kaufman, a lawyer with the ACLU of Southern California, told the newspaper.
While a preliminary injunction granting the bond hearings had been in place for the past year, Hatter has now made the right to them permanent.
Government lawyers believe the hearings will strain resources and that detention should be mandatory for detainees with criminal records, the Times said.
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