WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled that judges cannot deny bail to immigrants in criminal cases solely because they are living in the country unlawfully and could be deported before trial.
The little-noticed ruling by a three-judge panel last week said this is the first decision of its kind in the 10th Circuit, which covers Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming.
The court noted that under federal law, judges should decide the pretrial detention of deportable immigrants "on a case-by-case basis," based on a variety of factors. But the panel said that under the Bail Reform Act, judges cannot consider the possibility of involuntary deportation when they consider the risk that a defendant may flee.
The decision comes in the case of Mario Ailon, a Guatemalan citizen living unlawfully in Dodge City, Kansas.