Class Action Challenging Prolonged Immigration Detention Goes Forward

Today a federal appellate court in California today ruled that a lawsuit on behalf immigrants who have been detained for more than six months without bond hearings can go forward as a class action. The decision is a huge victory for hundreds of immigrants who have been held in prolonged detention without the most basic element of due process: a hearing to determine if their detention is even justified.

The lawsuit, Rodriguez v. Hayes, was originally filed in a federal district court in Los Angeles in May 2007, on behalf of Alejandro Rodriguez, an immigrant from Mexico who was imprisoned more than three years pending completion of his removal proceedings without ever receiving a bond hearing. In the lawsuit, Rodriguez asked for a hearing to determine if his prolonged detention was justified and to represent other similarly situated immigrants in the Central District of California. The district court, however, ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to grant a class action.

In overturning the lower court’s decision, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that the court had clear jurisdiction to allow the class action to go forward and that a class action would provide a remedy for scores of immigrants subject to prolonged detention. While there have been many good decisions invalidating prolonged detention in individual instances, the government has not been following them in other cases. Now that the 9th Circuit has allowed the case to go forward as a class action, many detainees — the overwhelming majority who lack legal representation — will be able to benefit from the court’s final decision.

The immigrants are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Southern California, the Stanford Law School Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, and the law firm of Sidley Austin LLP. More information on the case can be found here.

The stories of individuals who have been subject to prolonged detention and other related resources are also available on the ACLU’s new webpage, No End in Sight.

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Catalina

How can this be happening in the united states of america, We send our children to war to fight for liberty and justice, We critize other country for not protecting human rights, yet we allow ICE to arrest legal Permanent Resident who have been processed through our Court system, to be detain with no explanation or time frame, where is the justice here..We need to do something there is a Legal permanent resident in every family, this could be your nightmare tomorrow if you dont do something to stop it today!
Our president was so supportive of racial slur to a college professor, where is he now, He surely must be aware of this situation, Is he going to invite these permanent residents, Tax paying individuals to the white house for a beer, to apologize for the abuse of the rights of these individual!

Cindy

I can only hope these immigrants are "legal". If not, they have no rights under the US Constitution. They should not be held, but immediately deported deep into their own countries. Illegal immigrants are stealing from those immigrants who enter the US legally.

Mike

In 2001 the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China sent the following response to the U.S. government re it’s immigration policies:

“This is to advise that Chinese citizens who entered the United States legally as permanent residents, especially those who were children when they came, are not permitted to enter the People’s Republic of China as a deportee.

For those Chinese citizens who have finished serving their sentences in the correctional institutes, it is unfair to continue detaining them only because they are not United States citizens but foreigners. Especially those who were little children when they legally immigrated to this country with his family, and were brought up and educated here in the United States.

The Consulate General urges that they should be released from INS’s custody and stay together with their families in the United States, otherwise, it is against the spirit of humanitarianism and human rights, which the United States always advocates.”

Brian

Illegals = no rights. America first and always. You are what is wrong with America and hopefully you will be destroyed by your own actions.

LatinaRepublicana

The article is not mentioning the status of the "immigrants". My take is they are illegals. If so, they should be deported.

george

if they are illegal let them go. if headed north make them buzzard bait. if heade north let them go. headed south make them bear bait. they bleed off from the entire system.

Den

Deport the whole batch of them, here is a way to save tons of money for medical coverage here in the US. Stop pampering these people, find them & deport them ASAP!

mexican chic

the problem with many people today is their lack of education. The question is where do your roots come from. Did your family come here from some other country? Take time to learn and understand.
The constitution says that all men are created equal" since when does someone who is considered illegal not equal. We are all one human race. I am glad that this decision will benefit many.

Chuck says

Lack of education is the truth,illegals take money out of this country which weakens the american dollar. They take away jobs from hard working Americans, we have to pay thier hospital bills when Americans can't afford to see doctors at times.They say they want to be americans but they hold up a Mexican flag. Our prison system is full of illegals and it cost us less to send them back then support them.

Karissa Polston

If these people who are detained are in fact, illegals than they need to be deported immediately rather than being held and costing the money.

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