A federal judge in Detroit has ordered hearings for hundreds of Iraqi detainees. They are being held by the Department of Homeland Security while they fight deportation. The judge says holding them indefinitely is unconstitutional.
Some of the detainees have been held for as long as six months with no end date in sight. The ACLU says that’s unconstitutional, and the detainees should be allowed to fight deportation from their homes. That is unless the government can show they are a threat to public safety or pose a flight risk.
Margo Schlanger is an attorney with the ACLU.
“We have a Constitution that says liberty is the default, and the government has to have a really good reason to put you in detention, and they don’t have that here.”
Lawyers for the detainees and the Department of Homeland Security are supposed to meet in court next week to work out details. The government could also appeal the judge’s order.
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