CLINIC Joins Amicus Brief at SCOTUS Advocating for Release of Withholding of Removal Applicants

Last Updated

November 24, 2020

On Nov. 12, 2020, CLINIC joined the National Immigration Litigation Alliance, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, and Public Counsel in appearing as amici curiae in Pham v. Guzman Chavez. In this case, the Supreme Court will consider whether people in proceedings to determine their eligibility for withholding of removal may be released from immigration detention on bond. CLINIC is represented by WilmerHale.

People who have been previously deported and who reenter the United States may have their previous order of removal “reinstated.” However, if a person has a reasonable fear of persecution, they are entitled to a hearing at which they can apply for withholding of removal. If successful in obtaining withholding of removal, the government may not deport the person to the country where they have shown they will be persecuted. Evidentiary hearings on withholding of removal applications can take months to schedule, and the Guzman Chavez case will decide whether an immigration judge can issue an order for a withholding applicant to be released from immigration detention on a bond pending their final hearing.

The amicus brief explains how withholding of removal proceedings work in practice, and why the statute passed by Congress permits bond hearings. The brief also explains why a rule permitting bond hearings is readily workable.