AI Justice Sues Customs & Border Protection

Newsletter  |  Spring 2014
Vol. 18, Issue No. 2

AI Justice and co-counsel, Kurzban Kurzban Weinger Tetzeli & Pratt, P.A filed suit against Customs & Border Protection for human rights abuses in May.  The suit was filed in the Eastern District of New York on behalf of Alba, an AI Justice client. 

Alba had been held for well over a week in an hielera – a freezing detention cell without access to a shower or basic hygiene items such as soap, deodorant, and no beds, mattresses or blankets. The only toilet in the crowded cell was out in plain view of other detainees and CBP officers.

The lawsuit is the latest step AI Justice has taken in its campaign to end the abusive treatment of immigrants, many of whom are bona fide asylum seekers.  In April, Joseph Anderson, Esq., AI Justice’s Director of Litigation, met with CBP officials and other non-governmental organization at CBP headquarters in Washington, DC, for a meeting regarding CBP’s proposed new short-term detention standards.  Mr. Anderson presented findings of AI Justice’s investigation into the hieleras and called upon CBP to allow  advocates more input regarding their proposed new detention standards.  CBP agreed to do so and is expected to schedule meetings for discussion and review of the draft standards in June 2014.

In March, AI Justice filed a lawsuit in federal court in Miami seeking to compel CBP to respond to AJ Justice’s FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request seeking information on conditions of immigration detention in CBP holding stations.  

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AI Justice is an award-winning non-profit law and advocacy firm that protects and promotes the basic human rights of immigrants. In Florida and on a national level, we champion the rights of unaccompanied immigrant children; advocate for survivors of trafficking and domestic violence; serve as a watchdog on immigration detention practices and policies; and speak for immigrant groups who have particular and compelling claims to justice.