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Vijendra Kumar Singh v. Holder

In this opinion, the Ninth Circuit provided more details about the bond hearing required under Casas-Castrillon v. Department of Homeland Security, 535 F.3d 942 (9th Cir. 2008).  Casas-Castrillon provided for a bond hearing before an immigration judge for detained aliens while they petition for review of an administratively final order of removal.

Singh held DHS has the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the alien is a flight risk or a danger to the community.  Casas-Castrillon had held DHS had the burden of justifying continued detention, but did not state the showing required.  Clear and convincing is a heightened standard appropriate to the interests at stake when a person is detained in civil proceedings for several years.

Singh also held that the agency must provide contemporaneous record of the bond proceedings, such as a audio recording.  Immigration judges typically do not record bond proceedings and instead just prepare a memorandum if the alien chooses to appeal.  The current practice severely impedes judicial review of errors or due process violations.  The court's decision recognizes this, while not imposing the additional burden of requiring a transcription of the proceedings.

Singh also noted that the mere existence of a criminal record is not enough to deny bond.  Instead, the alien must constitute a present danger to the community.  So, the adjudicator must consider the extensiveness of criminal activity, the recency of such activity, and the seriousness of the offenses.

Read the opinion at