Detention, Deportation and Mental Disabilities

An estimated 15 percent of individuals in immigration detention have a mental disability. Unlike the criminal justice system, the immigration system has no standard procedures to resolve cases against detainees with mental disabilities. Such individuals are forced to navigate the daunting maze of removal proceedings alone, with no right to appointed counsel or other procedural protections. The ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project is pursuing litigation and advocacy strategies to ensure that immigration detainees with mental disabilities are afforded their due process rights.


Franco-Gonzalez v. Holder

Lyttle v. United States


Deportation by Default: Mental Disability, Unfair Hearings, and Indefinite Detention in the U.S. Immigration System (ACLU Human Rights Project and Human Rights Watch, 2010): a report documenting the lack of meaningful safeguards for people with mental disabilities facing possible deportation from the United States.

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