Monday, December 10, 2018

ICE may detain and deport a defendant regardless of a district court's detention determination

The Bail Reform Act (BRA) and the Immigration and Naturalization Act (INA) seem to be in conflict.  The INA requires that a person subject to removal is not entitled to bail, and must be deported.  But what to do if that same person is charged with a federal offense, and the district court finds that the person is entitled to bail under the BRA?

The Sixth Circuit has held that in such situations, the district court cannot interfere with the requirements of the INA.  In United States v. Veloz-Alonso, the district court found that the defendant, an illegal alien, was subject to bail under the BRA.  The United States informed the court that, if the defendant was released, ICE would likely detain and deport him prior to resolution of the criminal case.  The district court, wanting the defendant to be released on bail, then entered an order enjoining ICE from such action. 

The United States appealed, and the Sixth Circuit reversed.  Recognizing the conflicts between the BRA and the INA, the  Court found that "nothing in the BRA prevents other government agencies or state or local law enforcement from acting pursuant to their lawful duties."  Thus, while a district court is able to release such a defendant under the BRA, the court may not halt application of the requirements of the INA. 

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