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US immigration law: Advocates call for an end to detention

Immigration is a topic that often incites contentious debate. One issue that many Florida residents feel strongly about is immigrant detention. Many families are currently facing legal problems regarding pending removal proceedings. Many people who advocate on behalf of immigrants say immigrant detention should no longer be allowed under U.S. immigration law.

There are currently more than 44,000 immigrants detained at various detention centers throughout the nation. Many have been transferred to such facilities after having served sentences for criminal convictions. However, data shows that most convictions are not for serious crimes but for misdemeanors, such as intoxicated driving or assault.  

Advocates say there is no rhyme or reason to the system and that many immigrants who are being held for years at a time have no criminal records whatsoever. The U.S. Supreme Court heard a case regarding whether immigrants are entitled to periodic bond hearings in detention. The case was returned to a U.S. district circuit court for further litigation.  

Many immigrants in Florida and elsewhere are unable to pay their bonds, thus causing them to remain in detention instead of being released. Bond amounts are set at the discretion of the judge presiding over the proceedings and typically fall between $1,500 and $7,500. It is highly unlikely that the U.S. government will end its immigrant detention program any time soon; however, those facing removal problems are not without available support, as immigrants in need of legal guidance may confer with experienced U.S. immigration law attorneys at any time.

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