WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that people held in immigration detention, sometimes for years, are not entitled to periodic hearings to decide whether they may be released on bail.
The vote was 5 to 3, with the court’s more conservative members in the majority. Justice Stephen G. Breyer summarized his dissent from the bench, a rare move signaling intense disagreement.
The two sides exchanged unusually caustic barbs, mirroring the sharp divisions on immigration policy among lawmakers and members of the public.
Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., writing for the majority, said the detention of people seeking asylum or fighting deportation was needed to give immigration officials time “to determine an alien’s status without running the risk of the alien’s either absconding or engaging in criminal activity.”