Tags: fourth circuit | immigration | separation | families

Fed Court: Detained Immigrants Have No Right to 'Family Unity'

Fed Court: Detained Immigrants Have No Right to 'Family Unity'

Immigrants from Central America seeking asylum board a bus on April 2 in downtown San Antonio. (Eric Gay/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 16 April 2019 04:59 PM

Illegal immigrants detained at the border don’t have a “due process right to family unity,” a federal appeals court in Virginia ruled Tuesday.

The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a district court’s ruling that apprehended illegals don’t have the right to be held in the same state as their children, The Hill reported.

“On the merits, we, like the district court, have been unable to find a substantive due process right to family unity in the context of immigration detention pending removal,” the appeals court wrote in its ruling.

“To be sure, there are decisions that recognize the ‘power of parents to control the education of their own’ children… and the ‘fundamental right to make decisions concerning the rearing’ of one’s children… but those decisions hardly support the asserted right to be detained in the same state as one’s children, the right to be visited by children while in detention, or a general right to ‘family unity’ in the context of detention.”

The appeals court also wrote it was sticking to Supreme Court decisions cautioning lower courts against “innovating” when it comes to due process rights.

According to The Hill, the decision stems from a lawsuit brought against the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement by two illegal immigrants and their children. The family was detained at the Farmville Detention Center in Farmville, Va. until one of the parents was transferred to a detention facility in Texas. 

Though both parents have been released on bond since the lower court ruling, they argue they’re subject to re-detention by ICE at “any time” and therefore would “remain at risk of sudden transfer out of reach of their children,” The Hill reported.

The Trump administration was widely condemned last year for a now-revoked “zero-tolerance” policy that led to family separations at the border in order to discourage migrants from sneaking into the country.

President Donald Trump has now reasserted a hardline immigration stance, including overseeing a purge of DHS’s leadership, weighing efforts to overhaul asylum laws and mulling a plan to send detained migrants to “sanctuary cities” to vex political enemies.

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Illegal immigrants detained at the border don't have a "due process right to family unity," a federal appeals court in Virginia ruled Tuesday.
fourth circuit, immigration, separation, families
358
2019-59-16
Tuesday, 16 April 2019 04:59 PM
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