Home > Press Releases > Immigration Equality Lauds Second Circuit Court Decision Ensuring Bond Hearings for Immigrants in Detention

October 28, 2015

Jackie Yodashkin, Communications Director
jyodashkin@immigrationequality.org / (917) 620-4502

Immigration Equality Lauds Second Circuit Court Decision Ensuring Bond Hearings for Immigrants in Detention

New York, NY — Today, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which exercises federal jurisdiction in six districts within the states of Connecticut, New York, and Vermont, issued its decision in Lora v. Shanahan, finding that a statute permitting indefinite detention for immigrants accused of certain criminal acts was unconstitutional.

Below is a statement from Immigration Equality’s Legal Director, Aaron Morris:

“Immigration Equality lauds today’s decision from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which will ensure that immigrants in detention will have the opportunity to have a bond hearing within six months rather than needlessly languishing in detention indefinitely.

“This decision is particularly meaningful for Immigration Equality’s clients, who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT), and therefore among the most vulnerable people in detention centers. LGBT people in detention experience violence and sexual assault at levels ten times the national average.

“We are pleased to see the Second Circuit in agreement with the Ninth Circuit that ‘mandatory detention for longer than six months without a bond hearing affronts due process,’ and encourage other Courts to follow this guidance.”

In reaching its decision, the Second Circuit noted that the Supreme Court had last reviewed the issue in 2003, when removal proceedings typically concluded within 47 days. In revisiting the constitutionality of detaining immigrants, Judge Barrington D. Parker wrote for the Court that, “[i]t is clear, however, that today, a non-citizen detained… who contests his or her removal regularly spends many months and sometimes years in detention.” It concluded that a bright-line rule of six months was appropriate in the Second Circuit to ensure predictability in a Circuit with such a large immigration docket. It also noted that “without a six-month rule, endless months of detention, often caused by bureaucratic backlog, has real-life consequences for immigrants and their families.”

To read the full decision, click here.


Immigration Equality represents and advocates for people from around the world fleeing violence, abuse, and persecution because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and HIV status. Our team of legal experts has won asylum for more than 700 LGBT and HIV-affected immigrants.