Pulling Teeth: The State of Mandatory Immigration Detention

34 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2010

See all articles by Geoffrey Heeren

Geoffrey Heeren

University of Idaho College of Law


This article reviews the current condition, history, and jurisprudence of immigration detention alongside a case study of one immigrant who was held in detention for three years. It argues that a detention system designed for a predominately short-term population is likely to always be problematic for the significant population of detainees who are held, pursuant to mandatory detention provisions, for years while they pursue complicated immigration cases. The article offers various solutions involving regulatory or statutory amendments or new administrative guidance.

Keywords: immigration, civil detention, mandatory detention, prolonged detention, detainee, civil rights

JEL Classification: K41

Suggested Citation

Heeren, Geoffrey, Pulling Teeth: The State of Mandatory Immigration Detention. Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review (CR-CL), Vol. 45, No. 2, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1688958

Geoffrey Heeren (Contact Author)

University of Idaho College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 442321
Moscow, ID 83844-2321
United States

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