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Posted January 13, 2005 by Dana Garrett in Cuba Human Rights

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AFP

The US Supreme Court ruled that the US government may not hold indefinitely illegal immigrants—many of them Cubans who arrived here en masse in 1980 and whose return Cuba forbids.

In a seven-to-two ruling, the Supreme Court found that a “reasonable” length of detention with a view to deporting the immigrant would be no more than six months.

Nearly 1,000 Cubans who arrived in the United States in 1980 during the so-called Mariel boatlift are currently in US custody.

Havana, over a six-month period in 1980, allowed 125,000 candidates for exile leave the communist island.

Numerous criminals were among those detained by US authorities upon arrival here.

Later, people who committed a crime in the United States found themselves in no-man’s land once their prison sentence was over, remaining in US immigration authorities’ hands with no date in sight for their release.

The court in Wednesday’s decision extended a 2001 ruling on legal immigrants who had committed a crime here and were therefore considered undesirable.

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