Blog of Rights


Cecillia Wang is director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, where she has worked full-time since 2004 after first serving as a fellow at the project from 1997-98. She has litigated civil and criminal cases in state and federal courts throughout the country. Wang previously worked as an attorney at the federal public defender office for the Southern District of New York and at the San Francisco-based firm Keker & Van Nest. A 1995 graduate of Yale Law School, Wang clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun.

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Stopping South Carolina from Sharing Alabama's Fate

By Cecillia Wang, ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project at 7:37pm
The fate of civil liberties in South Carolina will be decided by year’s end. Today, a coalition of South Carolinians and civil rights organizations went to federal district court in Charleston to stop the last anti-immigrant law passed this year.

Arizona's Notorious Sheriff Is Called out on Unconstitutional Police Practices

By Cecillia Wang, ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project at 10:36am

The U.S. Department of Justice announced yesterday that after a three-year investigation, it found that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) has engaged in a pattern and practice of racial profiling against Latino residents. The Justice…

The War on Drugs Tears Families Apart

The War on Drugs Tears Families Apart

By Cecillia Wang, ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project at 5:30pm

June 2011 marks the 40th anniversary of President Richard Nixon's declaration of a "war on drugs" — a war that has cost roughly a trillion dollars, has produced little to no effect on the supply of or demand for drugs in the United…

Supreme Court Says "No" to Government Effort to Deprive Immigrants of Fair Day in Court

By Cecillia Wang, ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project at 6:06pm

Today the Supreme Court rejected the government's effort to deprive immigrants seeking review of a removal order of a fair day in court. In Nken v. Holder, the Court considered the proper legal standard governing an immigrant's application for a stay pending court review of an administrative removal order: Should the immigrant have to show “clear and convincing evidence that the entry or execution of [the removal] order is prohibited as a matter of law”? Or does the immigrant have to meet the lower traditional standard for preliminary relief, which is based on a balancing of factors in the case, including whether the petitioner is likely to win at the end of the day and whether he will suffer irreparable harm without the temporary relief?

To put it in plain English: After an immigrant gets ordered deported by an administrative immigration court, he petitions a federal court if he thinks the immigration court got it wrong. At the beginning of such cases, the immigrant always asks the federal court to issue an order freezing the removal order, to make sure that the government doesn't send him away before the court can decide the case. Nken is about how hard it is to get that temporary order freezing the status quo.

Two Steps to Preventing False Arrests

By Cecillia Wang, ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project at 11:32am

The Los Angeles Times reported yesterday on several U.S. citizens who have been mistakenly swept up, arrested and locked up as “illegal aliens” by the federal immigration agency, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”),…

Some Choice

By Cecillia Wang, ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project at 10:32am
President Bush has announced that he will transfer 14 detainees from secret CIA facilities to Guantánamo. According to news reports, the men will "stand trial" there. Call me superstitious, but it's a fact that certain places are cursed by…
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