Judge Finds Jurisdiction Over Challenge to Somali Deportations
Miami, FL - (January 30, 2018) - U. S. District Court Judge Darrin Gayles ruled on Friday that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is temporarily enjoined from deporting 92 Somalis who ICE had previously tried to deport in December 2017 in a botched flight that was forced to return the Somalis back to the United States.
The Order stated, "While the Court recognizes that the executive branch has broad discretion to carry out removal orders, the Court finds that it has jurisdiction in this case to prevent the unlawful exercise of that discretion against these specific Petitioners."
The 92 men and women sustained injuries from being shackled at their wrists, waists, and legs for almost two days, including over 20 hours when the plane sat on the runway in Dakar, Senegal. During the time that the flight was in Senegal, the detainees report that ICE agents abused them and deprived them of access to the bathroom.
Class-action lawsuit represents 92 immigrants who were shackled and abused during failed deportation
MIAMI, Fla. (December 19, 2017) - The Immigration Clinic at the University of Miami School of Law, Americans for Immigrant Justice, James H. Binger Center for New Americans at the University of Minnesota Law School, and Legal Aid Service of Broward County have filed a class-action lawsuit and request for a temporary restraining order against Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The lawsuit cites inhumane conditions and egregious abuse of 92 Somali men and women during a failed attempt to deport them by plane on December 7, 2017.
For the duration of the almost 48-hour trip, ICE shackled the Somali immigrants at their wrists, waist, and legs and forced them to stay seated. While the plane sat on the runway for 23 hours in Senegal, ICE agents kicked, struck, choked, and dragged some detainees down the aisle of the plane and put others in straitjackets. The deportees were also denied access to a working bathroom, leaving some detainees to relieve themselves into bottles or on themselves.
Immigrant Rights Advocates Demand Civil Rights Investigation Into ICE Raids That Targeted Sponsors Of Unaccompanied Children
December 6, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Eight immigrant rights organizations filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and Office of Inspector General today on behalf of some of the 400 people swept up this summer in a DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operation. The operation used unaccompanied immigrant children who were trying to reunite with their families to identify and target their relatives who live in the United States. The organizations are calling for an investigation of civil rights violations against eight individuals whose stories are described in the complaint.
The complaint details how ICE officers misrepresented their objectives and coerced young immigrants during the agency’s “surge initiative” from June to August 2017. The operation sought information about the immigration status of parents and other relatives who came forward to sponsor unaccompanied children. Officers then used that information to locate or lure family members to ICE offices, where they were arrested and detained. These actions, the groups say, undermine U.S. laws governing the treatment of unaccompanied children. Those laws include the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, as well as individuals’ due process rights and right to family unity, protected by the U.S. Constitution. The operation also contravenes U.S. obligations under international and domestic refugee law.
AI Justice had the privilege of representing the four Miami-Dade College students who walked 1500 miles, from Miami to Washington, D.C. in 2010, to garner support for the DREAM Act and make the case for comprehensive immigration reform. One of the DREAMers, Felipe Matos, said they decided to undertake this journey despite the potential dangers, telling us, "We are aware of the risks. We are risking our future because our present is unbearable." Today countless DREAMers across the country are feeling like Felipe - the present seems unbearable.
Miami, FL - May 22, 2017 - Department of Homeland Security sources have indicated that Temporary Protected Status for Haiti will be renewed for 6 months. Following the January 12, 2010 earthquake that shook Haiti to its core, taking 300,000 Haitian lives and injuring 1.5 million, the United States granted Haitians Temporary Protected status (TPS), allowing them to live and work here legally. Since then, Haiti suffered additional calamities. In 2016, a category 5 storm slammed Haiti, destroying entire towns and affecting an estimated 2.1 million Haitians. An ongoing cholera epidemic - reportedly the world's largest- has killed 9,500 Haitians and sickened 900,000 others. Until today, TPS status has been renewed every 18 months since 2010.
Miami, FL - January 25, 2017 - Today, President Trump signed two Executive Orders that have devastating effects on immigrants in our communities and asylum-seekers seeking protection at our borders. Trump's Orders call for the immediate construction of a wall along the Southwest border; mandatory detention for asylum-seekers; massive expansion of immigration detention centers; the tripling of enforcement officers; the reinstatement of harmful 287(g) partnerships with local law enforcement; and the cancellation of federal grants to cities and counties that refuse to engage in immigration enforcement activities, including Miami.
Miami, FL - October 9, 2016 - On September 22, 2016, the Obama Administration announced it was resuming Haitian deportations and new arrivals would face expedited removal. Countless Haitians who made it to the border since the policy change are currently in ICE custody in the San Diego area. Meanwhile, roughly 7000 Haitians without TPS who were released before the policy change now face detention and deportation. Americans for Immigrant Justice (AI Justice) represents a number of these Haitians, who currently have work permits and are terrified of return.