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ACLU reported on Friday, that in a victory to immigration detainees, United States District Court Judge for the Northern District of California, Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers granted a motion for a preliminary injunction and motion for class certification in Preap v. Holder in a class action lawsuit, where Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, with lead counsel Keker Van Nest, LLP, challenged the federal government’s practice in California of detaining certain immigrants without bond, often for many months, while they face deportation proceedings.
Certain types of immigrants will be affected by this ruling. Primarily those who have criminal violations and who were subsequently adjudged by the U.S. government to be a flight risk, or a danger to their community by refusing these detainees bond hearings.
This policy effectively separated detainees from their families for extended periods of time, compromised their livelihood and ability to have access to representation. Many of these people have been longtime residents of the United States who have rehabilitated themselves, raised families and established ties in their communities. After this ruling they will now have the opportunity to make an individualized case against their detention.
“This case has the power to stop the federal government’s outrageous process of holding people without bond. We are now one step closer to ensuring those who aspire to be citizens are treated fairly before the law,” said lead counsel and Keker & Van Nest Partner Jon Streeter.
“Fair process is at the core of our country’s system of justice. The Court rightly acknowledged that not even the government is above the law, and cannot deny bond hearings to individuals who are plainly entitled to them,” said Keker & Van Nest attorney Stacy Chen.
“The decision places some necessary limits on the federal government’s expansive use of mandatory detention, a practice that has been devastating immigrant families for nearly two decades,” said Alison Pennington of Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus.
“This is an important victory that pushes back against our inhumane and abusive immigration detention system,” said Julia Harumi Mass, Senior Staff Attorney with the ACLU of Northern California.