WASHINGTON (June 28, 2001) -- The chairman of the board of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), today hailed the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that the indefinite detention of immigrants is unconstitutional.
Bishop Thomas Wenski, Auxiliary Bishop of Miami and CLINIC's chairman, issued a brief statement praising the decision and calling for a review of all indefinite detainees' cases by the Immigration and Naturalization Service. His statement follows:
Auxiliary Bishop of Miami
Member, NCCB Committee on Migration
and Chairman, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc.
June 28, 2001
On behalf of the U.S. Catholic bishops' Committee on Migration and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC), I applaud the decision handed down today by the Supreme Court in the case of Zadvydas v. Davis, et al., which held that current immigration law does not permit the indefinite detention of immigrants. CLINIC filed an amicus brief to the Supreme Court on behalf of the petitioners.
The Court's decision validates the argument that indefinite detention flies against American ideas of fairness and due process under the law. Indefinite detention is unnecessary, cruel and violates basic human rights. We are heartened that the Supreme Court agrees with us that this practice raises serious constitutional questions.
I call upon the Immigration and Naturalization Service to review immediately the cases of all indefinite detainees for possible release and to begin developing alternatives to detention for this population.