On October 19, 2012, NDLON and other organizations sued Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca for engaging in massive unconstitutional detention of immigrants and U.S. citizens suspected of being immigrants in Los Angeles County jails. The lawsuit alleges that detaining people in County Jails on the basis of voluntary ICE holds is unlawful. Sheriff Baca currently detains tens of thousands of people on these holds (which are also known as "immigration detainers") every year. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are a diverse group of individuals who have either experienced unlawful detention as a result of ICE holds, or will imminently be subject to such unlawful detention. The suit seeks damages for Plaintiffs who have been unlawfully detained, and injunctive relief to end the Sheriff's widespread practice of unlawfully detaining individuals pursuant to voluntary ICE holds.
Rights groups filed a class-action lawsuit on Friday against the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, accusing it of unlawfully detaining immigrants at the behest of the federal government for days beyond when they should have been released.
The suit highlights the detention of a British filmmaker and legal immigrant, Duncan Roy, who spent 89 days in jail because of an erroneous federal immigration hold that left him unable to post bail, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
The lawsuit is the latest effort by rights groups to turn California into a so-called sanctuary state that protects
unauthorized immigrants. That is in stark contrast to states such as Arizona that are engaged in crackdowns on illegal immigration which have sparked fears of racial profiling. An immigration hold is a request by the federal government that they would like someone to remain in custody so they can seek deportation.
"This massive unconstitutional detention is a symptom of the criminalization of immigrants, a dangerous trend that must be reversed," Jessica Karp, an attorney for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network that was one of the groups involved in the suit, said in a statement...
Through this lawsuit, filed in April 2010, NDLON, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Cardozo Immigration Justice Clinic seek to "Uncover the Truth" about the "Secure Communities" program. We have obtained over 80,000 pages of documents, many of which are available online. The documents show that, despite ICE's representations of S-Comm as a program to deport serious convicted criminal, the vast majority of the more-than 150,000 people deported through the program have either no, or only very minor criminal convictions, including traffic offenses. The documents also reveal that, as recognized by the federal court, ICE and DHS went “out of their way to mislead the public about Secure Communities.” NDLON is represented in the case by CCR, the Cardozo Immigration Justice Clinic, and the law firm of Meyer Brown, LLP.
In January 2010, Joaquin Navarro Hernandez, a member of the Congress of Day Laborers--an NDLON member in New Orleans--was unconstitutionally arrested and placed into deportation proceedings. Through this Freedom of Information lawsuit, Mr. Navarro sought to obtain documents related to his unconstitutional arrest and to CBP's enforcement operations in New Orleans generally. At first, CBP first ignored his request. Then, after Mr. Navarro brought suit, it claimed that the requested information was confidential and exempt from disclosure.
The court disagreed. It found that the requested information was a matter "of substantial public interest in the City of New Orleans, where the plight of the large population of immigrant workers who have assisted in rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina has been a matter of particular concern." The court ordered CBP to disclose information about its collaboration with local law enforcement in New Orleans and its covert surveillance of day laborers. The court also recognized the substantial and important role workers' centers play in promoting community oversight of key civil rights issues and in promoting democracy, including the leadership of the Congress of Day Laborers. Finally, the court ordered CBP to pay attorneys fees to NDLON and the New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice, which represented Mr. Navarro Hernandez.
Over 20,000 people have been deported through Los Angeles County jails in the last two and a half years. Through this lawsuit, filed in June 2011, NDLON, CHIRLA, and the National Immigration Law Center are demanding that Sheriff Baca comply with the the California Public Records Act and disclose information about the deportation programs operating in his jails, including Secure Communities, 287(g), and the Criminal Alien Program.
This case challenges the constitutionality of Alabama's extreme anti-immigrant law, HB 56. On September 28, 2011, in a disappointing decision that departed from decisions in similar cases across the country, the district judge upheld the vast majority of the law. Plaintiffs have appealed that decision to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
The one bright spot in the otherwise disappointing district court decision was the finding that the anti-day labor provisions of HB 56 likely violate the First Amendment. Those provisions were subsequently enjoined, and have not taken effect. NDLON is co-counsel in the case, along with the ACLU, MALDEF, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the National Immigration Law Center, and others.
NDLON members Tonatierra and the Southside Workers' Center, along with other organizations and individuals directly impacted by Arizona's anti-immigrant hate law, SB 1070, brought this lawsuit in federal court to challenge 1070's constitutionality. On February 28, 2012, the judge granted Plaintiffs' motion to enjoin the anti-day labor provisions of SB 1070. NDLON is co-counsel in the suit, along with the ACLU, MALDEF, NILC, and others.
This groundbreaking civil rights lawsuit begin in 2004, when the City of Redondo Beach initiated the "Day Labor Enforcement Project." Under a local ordinance that made soliciting day labor a crime, police arrested over 50 day laborers. The Comite de Jornaleros de Redondo Beach and NDLON, represented by MALDEF, immediately brought suit, arguing that the City's ordinance violated the First Amendment.
On September 16, 2001, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, struck down the ordinance, declaring: "We agree with the day laborers that the Ordinance is a facially unconstitutional restriction on speech." The case is the first at the federal appellate level to decide the constitutionality of an anti-solicitation ordinance aimed at day laborers. On February 21, 2012, the Supreme Court declined to hear Redondo Beach's appeal. The Supreme Court's decision removed the City's last chance to preserve its unconstitutional restriction on speech and confirmed the Ninth Circuit's decision as controlling law throughout the western United States.