Missouri court strikes law denying bail to some immigrants

AP News
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Posted: Dec 08, 2016 6:28 PM

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court struck down a law Thursday that denies bail to criminal defendants who cannot prove they are legally present in the U.S.

The unanimous decision came in the case of a man who was has been jailed since Sept. 3 on a felony charge of possessing a forged Social Security card, but it could apply to anyone living in the U.S. illegally who faces charges in a Missouri court.

The ruling comes during a time of heightened attention to immigration issues, as President-elect Donald Trump has pledged to build a wall along the Mexican border and more aggressively enforce the nation's immigration laws.

The Missouri high court said the no-bail law violates the state constitution, which says people have a right to be released on bail pending a trial unless they face capital charges or pose a danger to others. The court ordered the judge to reconsider granting bail.

Attorney Fawzy Simon told The Associated Press he plans to go to Camden County Circuit Court Friday to renew his request for bail for Faustino Lopez-Matias. Simon declined to identify the home country of his client.