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Court Limits Attorney General’s Discretion to Use Mandatory Detention Provision


An equally divided en banc First Circuit affirmed the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, holding that the bar to bonded release found in the detention mandate in INA §236(c) applies only to those specified criminal undocumented immigrants whom the Attorney General took into custody when they were released from criminal custody. The court concluded that the two petitioners were not taken into immigration custody when they were released from criminal custody, because they had been released from criminal custody years before their immigration custody began. As a result, the court found that the detention mandate did not bar either petitioner from seeking release on bond pursuant to the Attorney General’s discretionary release authority.

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