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Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly

Abstract

Most undocumented immigrants who are detained pending resolution of their removal proceedings are neither criminals nor actually deportable. Many are women and children with legitimate claims for remaining in the United Sates. Yet thousands of undocumented immigrants are detained for more than six months, longer than some convicted criminals. Because of this, one might ask: how "civil" is civil immigration detention?

In 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit imposed a bright-line rule in Rodriguez v. Robbins, establishing an undocumented immigrant's right to a bond hearing when his detention exceeds six months. This rule ensures that undocumented immigrants are no longer detained for more than six months without an opportunity to demonstrate that their continued detention is unwarranted. This Note examines the rule established in Rodriguez, particularly whether it is necessary to safeguard undocumented immigrants' due process rights and whether it is practicable.

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