On August 1, 2013, immigration detainees filed this lawsuit in the Western District of Washington against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) challenging the government's policy and practice of detaining immigrants in deportation proceedings even when they ...
read more >
On August 1, 2013, immigration detainees filed this lawsuit in the Western District of Washington against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) challenging the government's policy and practice of detaining immigrants in deportation proceedings even when they were released from criminal custody some time earlier. They alleged that this practice violates the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and the plaintiffs' due process rights under the Fifth Amendment. The plaintiffs, represented by attorneys from the ACLU of Washington, the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project, the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and the firm of Gibbs Houston Pauw, are seeking class certification and injunctive and declaratory relief. In particular, plaintiffs are requesting individualized bond hearings.
The plaintiffs were lawful permanent residents who were convicted of crimes and were released from criminal custody long before they were detained by ICE. When detained by ICE, they were held in mandatory detention. Plaintiffs alleged that ICE has misapplied the mandatory detention statute, 8 U.S.C § 1226(c), to individuals like them who have been living in the United States for years since their release without incident. They argued that the statute only allows mandatory detention for people who are convicted of certain crimes and who are taken into immigration custody at the time they are released from the criminal justice system for such a crime.
On October 7, 2013, the court (Judge Richard A. Jones) terminated the defendants' motion for a scheduling conference and the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and a permanent injunction. The court found that the case could be resolved based on the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction and the defendants' motion to dismiss.
On March 11, 2014, the court granted the plaintiffs’ motion for class certification, certifying under Rule 23(b)(2) “[a]ll individuals in the Western District of Washington who the government asserts or will assert are subject to mandatory detention under 8 U.S.C. § 1226(c) and who were not taken into immigration custody immediately upon their release from criminal custody for an offense referenced in § 1226(c)(1).” Khoury v. Asher, 3 F.Supp.3d 877, 890 (W.D. Wash. 2014). The court dismissed the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction without prejudice, but issued declaratory relief in the following form: “The government may not subject an alien to mandatory detention via 8 U.S.C. § 1226(c) unless the government took the alien into custody immediately upon his release from custody for an offense described in subparagraphs (1)(A) through (1)(D) of § 1226(c).”
On April 9, 2014, the court entered judgment for the plaintiffs, and the defendants appealed the class certification to the 9th Circuit. The parties argued the appeal on July 8, 2015. The appeal is still pending.Jennifer Bronson - 11/11/2013
Allison Hight - 03/27/2016