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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 155175 Find in a Library
Title: Constitutionality of INS Pre-Hearing Detention of Alien Children
Journal: University of Cincinnati Law Review  Volume:62  Issue:1  Dated:(Summer 1993)  Pages:217-246
Author(s): T A Bockhorst
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 30
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The Ninth Circuit in Flores v. Meese issued an important decision affirming the basic rights of aliens and children; the court properly defined the right implicated by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) detention of three Salvadoran girls based on prior U.S. Supreme Court cases that recognized the core nature of liberty from physical restraint.
Abstract: The three Salvadoran girls were arrested by the INS in 1985 on suspicion of being illegal aliens subject to deportation. The girls' mothers were in the United States at the time of the arrest but refused to come forward and take custody of the girls for fear of also being arrested and deported to El Salvador. The case came to trial, and evidence presented at trial indicated that the INS had detained children for as long as 2 years under its detention policy. The district court required the INS to conduct an administrative hearing for any minor taken into custody to determine proper cause for arrest and the need for any restrictions on the minor's release. On appeal by the U.S. Attorney General and the INS, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's holding on substantive due process rights of alien minors. This court appropriately rejected the judicial deference suggested by the plenary power doctrine in immigration matters because that doctrine lacked a principled jurisprudential base and also did not extend to child welfare issues. In addition, the court appropriately rejected the INS assertion of the parens patriae doctrine because INS interests in the case conflicted with the children's best interests. 203 footnotes
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; El Salvador; Illegal Immigrants/Aliens; Immigration offenses; Parens patriae; Right to Due Process; Rights of minors; US Supreme Court decisions
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