Court OKs Pretextual Use of Immigration Detention
In a ruling that slid in quietly under the news radar, a federal court of appeals ruled late last Friday that the government can lawfully use immigration detention as an excuse to conduct criminal investigations into non-citizens if the government likely has the right to deport that person. As long as his deportation is “reasonably foreseeable,” the government can delay the suspect’s deportation as long as it wants to.
In the same case, however, Turkmen v. Ashcroft, the court also sent back the plaintiffs’ claims that they were held in abusive conditions of confinement following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. They’ll have another chance to make those claims, but, significantly, will have to meet the Supreme Court’s new heightened pleading standards set out in Bell Atlantic v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal.