Immigration Rights issue image

Lawsuit Against ICE for Denying Access to Counsel

Status: Ongoing
Last Update: November 18, 2022

What's at Stake

Each day, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) lock up thousands of immigrants across the United States in detention centers as they await adjudication of their civil immigration proceedings. The outcome of those proceedings is often life and death. Yet ICE has implemented policies that make it extremely difficult—and in many cases impossible—for people in immigration detention to access their attorneys.

Several legal services organizations filed a lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for unlawfully preventing attorneys from communicating with immigrants detained in four detention facilities in Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and Arizona.

Plaintiff organizations, represented in the lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); the American Immigration Council; the ACLU of Arizona, D.C., Florida, and Texas; Milbank LLP; and Saul Ewing Ahrnstein & Lehr LLP, challenge the government’s failure to ensure compliance with constitutional requirements, federal law, and ICE’s own policies regarding access to counsel.

The lawsuit is brought on behalf of non-profit legal service organizations Americans for Immigrant Justice (AIJ), Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project (FIRRP), the Immigration Justice Campaign for the American Immigration Council (IJC), Immigration Services and Legal Advocacy (ISLA), and Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES).

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