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Can Immigrants Be Detained Indefinitely? It's a Question for the Supreme Court Now.

A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday struggled for the second time over how to resolve whether immigrants detained by the U.S. government for more than six months should be able to seek their release while deportation proceedings unfold.

A divided U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday struggled for the second time over how to resolve whether immigrants detained by the U.S. government for more than six months should be able to seek their release while deportation proceedings unfold.

A majority of the justices appeared sympathetic to the idea that immigrants held long-term should be eligible for a bond hearing that would let them argue for their release.

Some of the court’s conservatives seemed skeptical over whether such a hearing should be triggered automatically after six months, as a lower court had ruled. But conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy expressed concern about detainees being held for lengthy periods without any hearings as a result of government delays, suggesting he could side with the four liberals.

The issue has taken on increased importance as Republican President Donald Trump promises to step up deportations.

Caroline Cournoyer is GOVERNING's senior web editor.
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