“Stripping immigrants of their right to due process is immoral and unconstitutional, and stands as a direct threat to the 3.07 million foreign-born immigrants who reside in New York City,” Clarke, the daughter of Caribbean immigrants, told the Caribbean Media Corporation on Mar. 20.
“I am deeply concerned by the grave consequences this ruling will impose upon immigrant families, such as the fear of their indefinite detention and the fear of reporting crimes that make us all unsafe,” added the representative for the Ninth Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York, which has a huge concentration of Caribbean immigrants.
“We must protect our immigrant and formerly incarcerated community members from harm, even at the hands of our own government,” added Clarke, stating that the Supreme Court’s narrow, five to four decision on Mar. 19 now gives the U.S. government the authority to detain Caribbean and other immigrants, even after release from criminal custody.
In its decision, the Supreme Court, in the case of Preap v. Nielsen, overruled a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision that tried to limit which immigrants would be subject to mandatory detention without bond.
The 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRIRA) mandates the retroactive detention of immigrants with certain criminal histories, even for minor crimes.
In what is widely seen as a victory for the Trump administration and its hardcore immigration policies, Justice Samuel Alito wrote that immigration law requires the detention of “deportable criminal aliens,” even years later. He said, however, the law may be subject to constitutional challenges in individual cases – an issue that was not before the justices in the highest court in the U.S.