Blog of Rights

Esha
Bhandari

Esha Bhandari is an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. She holds a B.A., First Class Honours, from McGill University, where she received the Allen Oliver Gold Medal in political science, and a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she was a James Kent and Harlan Fiske Stone scholar and recipient of the Robert Noxon Toppan Prize in constitutional law and the Archie O. Dawson Prize for advocacy. During law school, Esha served as an Articles Editor for the Columbia Law Review, participated in the Human Rights Clinic, and completed an externship in the Legal Aid Society’s Immigration Law Unit. She spent a summer working on refugee rights matters at the Legal Resources Centre in Cape Town. Esha holds a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University. Prior to joining the ACLU, Esha clerked for the Honorable Amalya L. Kearse of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Yes, the U.S. Wrongfully Deports Its Own Citizens

Yes, the U.S. Wrongfully Deports Its Own Citizens

By Esha Bhandari, Equal Justice Works Fellow, ACLU at 11:48am
This week's New Yorker features the harrowing ordeal of Mark Lyttle, a U.S. citizen with mental disabilities who was deported to Mexico. Lyttle was born in North Carolina and has psychiatric and cognitive disabilities. He was inexplicably referred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in 2008 after being misidentified as an undocumented immigrant from Mexico even though he had never been to Mexico, shared no Mexican heritage, and did not speak any Spanish. As the New Yorker article notes, "Lyttle is brown-skinned," and "the vagaries of race and ethnicity obviously played a part" in causing him to be singled out for immigration enforcement.
Historic Decision Recognizing Right to Counsel for Group of Immigration Detainees

Historic Decision Recognizing Right to Counsel for Group of Immigration Detainees

By Esha Bhandari, Equal Justice Works Fellow, ACLU & Carmen Iguina, Equal Justice Works Fellow, ACLU of Southern California at 11:22am

In a landmark ruling yesterday, Federal District Judge Dolly M. Gee ordered the federal government to provide legal representation for immigrant detainees in California, Arizona and Washington who have serious mental disabilities and are unable to…

U.S. Citizen Wrongfully Deported to Mexico, Settles His Case Against the Federal Government

U.S. Citizen Wrongfully Deported to Mexico, Settles His Case Against the Federal Government

By Esha Bhandari, Equal Justice Works Fellow, ACLU at 12:15pm

Mark Lyttle, an American citizen with mental disabilities who was wrongfully detained and deported to Mexico and forced to live on the streets and in prisons for months, settled his case against the federal government this week.

Lyttle will…

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