Three years ago, the Justice Department assured the Supreme Court that although it sometimes deported immigrants while they were challenging unfavorable court decisions, it would bring those people back to the United States if they won on appeal. That was U.S. policy, the department asserted. The justices relied on that statement in deciding that immigrants would not suffer irreparable harm if they were forced to leave the country while still appealing their cases.
Now it turns out, according to U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, that the government's assertion may have been false. In fact, it may be that those who are wrongfully deported stand little chance of returning.
That has come out only because the Immigrant Rights Clinic at New York University challenged the government's statement after the fact. The clinic filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking more information about the policy. But the government has refused to release much, and what has come out doesn't support the assertion that such a policy exists. Indeed, in one email that was released, a federal official wrote: "As I always tell people at parties who ask for immigration advice, 'I know how to kick people out, but not how to get them in.'"