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…