Benitez v. Mata
What's at Stake
Reviewing the government’s claim that "Mariel" Cubans can be subject to indefinite detention if they have been found excludable from the United States and Cuba will not allow their return. DECIDED
This case involves the indefinite detention of Daniel Benitez, a Cuban refugee who was paroled into the country as part of the “Mariel” boat-lift in 1980 and has lived here ever since. Benitez is subject to a final order of exclusion but he cannot be expelled because Cuba will not accept his return. The government claims that it is entitled to detain him indefinitely under these circumstances based on its own unreviewable determination that he should not be released. In a friend-of-the-court brief, the ACLU argues that that the government’s position is inconsistent with both Congressional intent and controlling Supreme Court law.