Archive for the ‘Immigrant Advocacy’ Category

Arguments in Key Immigrants’ Rights Cases

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

December 3, 2018

Press contacts:
Lizette Olmos, lolmos@weareacasa.org (240) 706-2624 mobile
Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, simon@justice4all.org, (703) 720-5605 direct dial

Fourth Circuit to Hear Arguments in Key Immigrants’ Rights Cases
Plaintiffs, Attorneys, and Supporters Gather After Hearings on DACA Cancellation and Racial Profiling of Immigrants to Weigh in on Cases

WHO: DACA-mented Plaintiffs, Litigators, CASA, Legal Aid Justice Center, and supporting organizations including Church World Service

WHERE: Steps of US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, Corner of Bank and N. 10th Street, Richmond, VA

WHAT: Press Conference and Rally Featuring Immigrants Challenging the Trump Administration in Court

WHEN: Tuesday, December 11th at 11:30 a.m.

RICHMOND, VA (Monday, December 3, 2018) – Immigrants will gather outside the U.S. Court of Appeals next Tuesday to describe their efforts to challenge the actions of the Trump Administration and ICE agents before a court of law. The press conference and rally is being held at a rare confluence of separate cases that together challenge core pillars of the Trump administration’s attempts to permanently alter the lives of immigrants in America.

The first case, Casa de Maryland v DHS, is brought by 16 DACA-mented immigrants and 9 immigrant rights organizations to challenge the administration’s cancellation of the DACA program. This case joins others across the country that seek to reverse the administration’s discriminatory and illegal termination of the program; a decision that has left in limbo the lives of people brought to the US as children.

The second case, Mynor Tun-Cos v. B. Perrotte, is brought by the Legal Aid Justice Center on behalf of nine plaintiffs whose constitutional rights were violated by ICE agents during raids in Fairfax and Arlington Counties involving racial profiling and warrantless home invasions. In response to the lawsuit, the Trump Administration’s Department of Justice is arguing to the Court of Appeals that individuals may never sue ICE agents under any circumstances for violating their constitutional rights.

A third case, Reyna v. Hott, also filed by the Legal Aid Justice Center, will be heard the following day and challenges ICE’s practice of separating families by transferring immigrant detainees to out-of-state detention centers away from their U.S.-born children. A group of leading child development specialists from Harvard University and the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry filed a brief in support of the class action, describing the mental harm to children when their parents are detained far away without the possibility of visitation.
                                       
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With almost 100,000 members, CASA is the largest Latino and immigrant organization in the Mid-Atlantic region spanning Maryland, Virginia and South Central Pennsylvania. More information about CASA’s services, organizing, and advocacy work is available at www.wearecasa.org or follow us on Facebook CASAforAll or Twitter @CASAforall.

Legal Aid Justice Center is a statewide Virginia nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen the voices of low-income communities and root out the inequities that keep people in poverty. We provide legal support to immigrant communities facing legal crises and use advocacy and impact litigation to fight back against ICE enforcement and detention abuses. More information is available at https://www.justice4all.org/current-initiatives/fighting-ice-enforcement-abuses/ .

Challenge to ORR Child Detention Policy

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts:      Rebecca Wolozin, (571) 373-0518
                  Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, (434) 218-9376

FEDERAL COURT ALLOWS CHALLENGE TO GOVERNMENT POLICY USING DETAINED CHILDREN AS BAIT TO ARREST FAMILIES

ALEXANDRIA, VA (November 16, 2018) — Yesterday, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia denied the U.S. government’s motion to dismiss Legal Aid Justice Center’s lawsuit on behalf of detained immigrant children and their families, striking a blow to a new immigration policy that has kept thousands of children unnecessarily detained for months. The Court’s decision is a victory for immigrant children and their families in Virginia and across the country. 

This case is particularly significant, not only in Virginia, but nationally. Over 13,000 children are held by Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) under the policies challenged in this suit, hundreds of whom are in Virginia. Because the policies are federal policies implemented across the country, the outcome of this case will have a nationwide impact. 

Legal Aid Justice Center (LAJC), together with the intellectual property law firm of Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein, and Fox, brought this first-of-its-kind class action lawsuit challenging the government’s recent policy of sharing sponsor information and information about sponsors’ household members with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). That policy has resulted in ICE arrests of family and friends that came forward to bring their children home.

“The Trump administration has been carrying out a backdoor family separation agenda, keeping immigrant children apart from their families and using children as bait to break up the very families they have traveled so far and risked so much to join,” said Becky Wolozin, lead counsel and attorney with LAJC’s Immigrant Advocacy Program. “This decision is a victory for immigrant children and families. The Court has said clearly that the government cannot run roughshod over the rights of these children and their loved ones.” 

The lawsuit stemmed from the experience of four children in ORR custody on Virginia who were held by the government for over five months while their relatives tried to bring them home. Three of the four children were finally reunified with their families – one just weeks before the Court’s order came down. The three children who have been reunified with their families have been dismissed from the case. One child remains in government custody, where he has been held apart from his adult sister for six months, after fleeing violence and neglect in his home country. 

“For years, ORR has neglected its obligations under the Administrative Procedure Act,” said Sterne Kessler Director Salvador Bezos, lead of the firm’s immigration-focused pro bono matters. “The Administrative Procedure Act provides essential protections against this kind of agency overreach. I am proud of my colleagues’ and LAJC’s efforts to force the government to meet its obligations to the children in its custody.”

“ORR is supposed to protect vulnerable immigrant children. Instead it is placing them in harm’s way under the guise of child welfare,” said Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, Legal Director of LAJC’s Immigrant Advocacy Program. “Their policy and its enforcement undermine successfully placing children with their families and the vast surveillance actions are destabilizing immigrant communities.” 

In the November 15th ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema firmly upheld children’s right to liberty and the right to family unity for immigrant families. Judge Brinkema found that the children and their sponsors provided sufficient reason to suggest that their constitutional rights were violated, and that the government violated the Administrative Procedure Act when it enacted its ICE sharing policy earlier this year.  The case will now move forward as LAJC works to certify the class and the parties work to complete discovery. 

Read the legal ruling here

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Legal Aid Justice Center is a statewide Virginia nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen the voices of low-income communities and root out the inequities that keep people in poverty. We provide legal support to immigrant communities facing legal crises and use advocacy and impact litigation to fight back against ICE enforcement and detention abuses.  More information is available at http://www.justice4all.org/current-initiatives/fighting-family-separation/

Inhumane Family Separation Case Settled

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Scott Simpson, scott@muslimadvocates.org
Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, simon@justice4all.org
Nicole Vogt, nicole@npstrategygroup.com

Civil Rights Groups Settle Case Against Trump Administration’s Inhumane Family Separation Policies

Settlement Could Give Well Over 1,000 Parents Another Chance at Asylum

Washington, DC, September 12, 2018 – In accordance with a new agreement reached today in Dora v. Sessions and companion cases Ms. L v. ICE and M.M.M. v. Sessions – three legal actions that are challenging the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance and family-separation policies – the government has agreed that all parents still in the United States who underwent the asylum interview process after being forcibly separated from their children and subsequently had their claim rejected will now have a second chance to have their asylum request reviewed, including the opportunity to submit additional evidence and testimony.  Today’s agreement, if approved by the court, will provide much needed relief to these parents and their children and will ensure that their asylum claims are properly considered by federal officials.

According to Sirine Shebaya, senior staff attorney for Muslim Advocates, “Today’s agreement is a significant victory for parents who were denied a real chance at asylum. The parents in these lawsuits all came to the United States fleeing unspeakable violence and seeking shelter for themselves and their children. The government forcibly separated them from their children, causing them severe psychological trauma and denying them a meaningful opportunity to make their case for asylum. With this agreement, they will finally have a real chance to be heard and to secure safety and stability for themselves and their families.”

According to Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, legal director of the Immigrant Advocacy Program at the Legal Aid Justice Center in Virginia, “Our government forcibly ripped children from the arms of asylum-seeking parents, and then asked them, debilitated by trauma, all by themselves, unrepresented by lawyers, to articulate complex legal claims without any support or accommodation.  With this settlement, those parents will now finally have a fair shot at winning protection in the United States.”

Dora v. Sessions was filed last month in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by Muslim Advocates and Legal Aid Justice Center on behalf of 29 plaintiffs forcibly separated from their children under the Trump administration’s cruel and inhumane “zero tolerance” policy.  The complaint alleged that, because of the disabling trauma of family separation, parents were confused, disoriented, unable to focus on anything other than the whereabouts and well-being of their children, and unable to adequately articulate their experiences to the interviewing officers. As a result, the plaintiffs received negative credible fear determinations, and faced immediate deportation. The complaint raised claims under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment.

A copy of the settlement can be found here: Agreement Dora v Sessions

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Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths.

Legal Aid Justice Center is a statewide Virginia nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen the voices of low-income communities and root out the inequities that keep people in poverty. We provide legal support to immigrant communities facing legal crises and use advocacy and impact litigation to fight back against ICE enforcement and detention abuses.  More information is available at http://www.justice4all.org/current-initiatives/fighting-family-separation/

Lawsuit Challenges Culpeper County Sheriff

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For Immediate Release:

Contact
Legal Aid Justice Center: Sophia Leticia Gregg, sophia@justice4all.org, 703-720-5602
Victor M. Glasberg & Associates, Victor M. Glasberg, vmg@robinhoodesq.com, 703-684-1100,

CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT CHALLENGES CULPEPER COUNTY SHERIFF’S YEARS OF VIOLATING IMMIGRANTS’ CIVIL RIGHTS

Culpeper, VIRGINIA, September 10, 2018 – A Virginia resident has filed a class-action civil rights lawsuit against Culpeper County Sheriff Scott Jenkins for his unlawful practice of holding immigrants in jail past their release dates.  The lawsuit, brought by the Legal Aid Justice Center and Victor M. Glasberg and Associates, challenges the Sheriff’s policy of honoring “immigration detainers,” which are requests from U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) to hold individuals in local custody past the time they are ordered released by a state judge.  Unlike criminal warrants, immigration detainers are not signed by a judge and do not authorize a local jail to continue to incarcerate an individual.  Courts across the country have found that holding immigrants on ICE detainers violates their constitutional rights.

In 2015, Attorney General Mark Herring put Virginia sheriffs on notice that honoring immigration detainers was illegal when he issued an opinion aptly titled Legality of ICE Detainer Requests. Attorney General Herring’s opinion clearly stated, “[A]n adult inmate or a juvenile inmate with a fixed release date should be released from custody on that date notwithstanding the agency’s receipt of an ICE detainer.”

“I was pulled over and arrested for a minor traffic violation in Culpeper County, ” said Francisco Guardado Rios, the plantiff in this class action. “I never would have imagined that it would have led to me spending three months in jail.”  

According to Sophia Gregg, staff attorney at Legal Aid Justice Center: “This case stems from our ongoing advocacy in Culpeper County and countless stories like Mr. Guardado Rios’ that we heard over the course of many months. All people, regardless of their perceived immigration status, have the right to be free from unlawful incarceration.  For years Sheriff Jenkins has been acting outside of the law and today we begin the fight to hold him accountable.”

According to Vic Glasberg, veteran civil rights lawyer: “Keeping folks in jail without charges or a conviction is what happens in countries governed by tyrants.  Actions like this must be resisted by those interested in living in a free society.”

The lawsuit, Rios v. Jenkins, was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, Charlottesville Division.  A copy of the complaint can be found at Culpepper Complaint.   

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Legal Aid Justice Center is a statewide Virginia nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen the voices of low-income communities and root out the inequities that keep people in poverty. We provide legal support to immigrant communities facing legal crises and use advocacy and impact litigation to fight back against ICE enforcement and detention abuses. Our ‘De-ICE Virginia’ campaign seeks to sever the ties between local law enforcement and ICE. More information can be found at http://www.justice4all.org/current-initiatives/de-ice-virginia/

Victor M. Glasberg has been practicing civil rights law in his Alexandria, VA law firm since 1982.  Information about the firm may be found on its website www.robinhoodesq.com.

Suit Filed by Families Separated While Seeking Asylum

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For Immediate Release:

Contact
Legal Aid Justice Center: Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, simon@justice4all.org
Muslim Advocates: Scott Simpson, scott@muslimadvocates.org
Nicky Vogt, nicole@npstrategygroup.com


PARENTS OF CHILDREN FORCIBLY SEPARATED WHILE SEEKING ASYLUM FILE SUIT AGAINST U.S. GOVERNMENT
Dora v. Sessions cites extreme trauma at the hands of U.S. immigration authorities

Washington, D.C. – Today, on behalf of 29 plaintiffs forcibly separated from their children under the Trump administration’s cruel and inhumane “zero tolerance” policy, Muslim Advocates and the Legal Aid Justice Center filed Dora v. Sessions, a lawsuit against the Trump administration for wrongfully depriving the plaintiffs of their right to apply for asylum by forcing them through “credible fear interviews,” while they were traumatized and incapable of participating in those interviews.

Because of the disabling trauma of family separation, parents were confused, disoriented, unable to focus on anything other than the whereabouts and well-being of their children, and unable to adequately articulate their experiences to the interviewing officers. As a result, the plaintiffs received negative credible fear determinations, and now face immediate deportation. The complaint raises claims under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution’s Fifth Amendment.

Among other things, the complaint seeks a court order compelling the federal government to vacate separated parents’ negative credible fear determinations and to provide them a new opportunity for a credible fear interview with reasonable accommodations for the psychological conditions caused by forcible family separation.

The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, Acting Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Ronald Vitiello, Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship, Immigration Services L. Francis Cissna, and Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Kevin K. McAleenan.

Since June 2018, the Trump administration has separated over 3,000 children from their parents. Today, hundreds remain separated.

According to Sirine Shebaya, senior staff attorney at Muslim Advocates: “The parents in this lawsuit came to the United States fleeing unspeakable violence and seeking shelter for themselves and their children. They brought their children here to protect them from harm. Many had promised their children that they were bringing them to a better place. But instead, their children were forcibly snatched away from them. Meanwhile, they were forced through the most critical interview of their lives – and their only opportunity at applying for asylum – without regard to the extreme psychological trauma they were suffering and are continuing to suffer. The harm these cruel and inhumane policies have caused our plaintiffs is hard to capture to its full extent – it is beyond anything we would ever have imagined. Parents were en masse experiencing debilitating symptoms that stopped them from being able to participate in their own asylum interviews. They deserve better, and should at the very least be given a new opportunity to articulate their claims for asylum in the United States.”

According to Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, Legal Director of the Immigrant Advocacy Program at the Legal Aid Justice Center in Virginia: “The legal theory behind this case is simple.  The government’s policy of forcibly separating asylum-seeking families was deeply traumatizing to the parents as well as the children.  The government cannot then turn around and ask asylum-seeking parents, all by themselves, unrepresented by lawyers, debilitated by trauma, to articulate complex legal claims without any support or accommodation.”

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Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths. Learn more at www.muslimadvocates.org.

Legal Aid Justice Center is a statewide Virginia nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen the voices of low-income communities and root out the inequities that keep people in poverty. We provide legal support to immigrant communities facing legal crises and use advocacy and impact litigation to fight back against ICE enforcement and detention abuses.  More information is available at https://www.justice4all.org/current-initiatives/fighting-ice-enforcement-abuses/ .

Class Action Lawsuit Challenges ICE Detention Policy

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For Immediate Release: 

Contact:
CAIR Coalition: Sheena Pegarido, media@caircoalition.org, 202-559-4431
LAJC: Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, simon@justice4all.org, 703-720-5605
Muslim Advocates: Scott Simpson, scott@muslimadvocates.org, 202-735-1984

CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT CHALLENGES ICE’S POLICY OF KEEPING IMMIGRANTS DETAINED AFTER THEY WIN THEIR CASES
Immigrants’ rights groups fight policy that keeps immigrants behind bars after they win cases

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA, July 23, 2018 — The Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition, Legal Aid Justice Center, and Muslim Advocates have filed a class-action lawsuit on Friday to challenge a new and fundamentally unfair policy that keeps immigrants detained after they win their cases, violating the basic tenets of due process.

Previously, when detained immigrants won their cases seeking withholding of removal, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would generally release them right away, barring some specific reason otherwise. Now, ICE’s new policy is to hold all such immigrants behind bars and keep them apart from their families for an additional 90 days, for no good reason. Withholding of removal, similar to asylum, is a protection granted by an immigration judge to people who have successfully proven they will be persecuted or killed if returned to their home country.

“There is absolutely no reason the government should continue keeping immigrants behind bars after they win their cases,” said Claudia Cubas, litigation director at CAIR Coalition. “We will fight this egregious policy, and if we win in Virginia, this will pave the way to eliminate this policy nationwide.” “A judge has already decided that these folks will not be deported. They’ll be allowed to live here and remain productive members of society,” said Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, Legal Director of the Immigrant Advocacy Program at the Legal Aid Justice Center. “So why is ICE keeping them locked up for three more months? Just for spite?”

“We have seen a pattern of ICE enforcement against people who have no business being in jail. The unnecessary, unlawful, and costly detention of individuals who have already won their cases is yet another example of punitive policies designed to target immigrants and people of color and dissuade them from fighting their cases,” said Sirine Shebaya, Senior Staff Attorney at Muslim Advocates. “ICE should stop this practice immediately and allow these individuals to rejoin their family members and communities, as required by the law.” The case is entitled Sanchez-Acosta v. Sessions, No. 1:18-cv-872, and is pending before Judge Liam O’Grady in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. A ruling is expected this fall.

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The Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition strives to ensure equal justice for all immigrant men, women, and children at risk of detention and deportation in the DC metropolitan area and beyond through direct legal representation, know your rights presentations, impact and advocacy work, and the training of attorneys defending immigrants in the immigration and criminal justice arenas. More information can be found at http://www.caircoalition.org.

Legal Aid Justice Center is a statewide Virginia nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen the voices of low-income communities and root out the inequities that keep people in poverty. We provide legal support to immigrant communities facing legal crises, and use advocacy and impact litigation to fight back against ICE enforcement and detention abuses. Our ‘De-ICE Virginia’ campaign seeks to sever the ties between local law enforcement and ICE. More information can be found at https://www.justice4all.org/current-initiatives/fighting-ice-enforcement-abuses/.

Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths. More information can be found at http://www.muslimadvocates.org.

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LAJC Denounces ORR Collusion with ICE

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LAJC just submitted a public comment urging the Department of Health and Human Services, the agency responsible for caring for unaccompanied minors and for reuniting them with their families through the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), to abandon a dangerous agreement with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that would turn ORR into an arm of ICE.

Under this agreement, ORR and DHS will provide ICE with confidential information not only about the caregiver seeking to reunite with a minor in ORR custody, but about every person in their entire household.  This will enable ICE to check every person’s immigration status and use the information to detain and deport the adults trying to reunite with their children.

This agreement and the procedures that have been proposed to implement it use children as bait to detain and deport their family members. It is in direct conflict with ORR’s mission to protect child welfare, as well as being a gross erosion of privacy rights and further evidence that this Administration is only paying lip service to child protection in order to enact practices that hurt children and keep families apart.

LAJC is committed to protecting immigrants and refugees and keeping kids out of jail. While attention has been focused on the horrible impacts of family separation on the border, the administration has been quietly continuing its project of preventing families from reuniting, a project that started over a year ago and one that LAJC has been watching and fighting against for years.


LAJC_Comments on OMB No 0970-0278 Sponsorship Review Procedures (002)

 

Alexandria Sheriff Begins to Move Away from ICE

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For Immediate Release: July 10, 2018

Contact: Mia Taylor, mtaylor@tenantsandworkers.org, 571-269-8107
Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, simon@justice4all.org, 703-720-5605

Alexandria Sheriff Moves to Reduce Collaboration with ICE, But More Is Needed
Immigrants’ Rights Groups Demand Alexandria Jail Sever Ties With ICE

ALEXANDRIA, VA: Alexandria Sheriff Dana Lawhorne’s recent commitment to reduce collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a positive step forward, but more changes are needed in order to live up to the City’s Statement on Inclusiveness.

Sheriff Lawhorne announced yesterday that for immigrants serving a sentence imposed by a judge, his jail will no longer honor ICE requests to hold them past their scheduled release dates.  For immigrants ordered released on bond, or eligible for release after time served, the jail will only hold them for 16 hours for ICE (or up to 24 hours in extenuating circumstances), no matter what day of the week. Sheriff Lawhorne will also institute timekeeping policies and regular weekly audits to make sure no one is held beyond the time allowed under this new policy.

Previously, the jail would honor ICE requests to hold both pretrial and post-conviction immigrant detainees for up to two business days past their scheduled release dates, not including weekends and holidays. In 2017, the Alexandria City Jail turned over 105 people to ICE, up nearly double from 2016.  More than half of those were merely awaiting trial and had not been convicted of a crime. Alexandria also allows ICE to use its jail as a short-term holding facility for immigrants arrested anywhere at all, a practice which will not change after yesterday’s announcement.

“Thank you, Sheriff, for your willingness to engage with the community and revisit your practices. We are encouraged that you describe this as a ‘first step.’ And it is a step in the right direction,” said Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, legal director of the Legal Aid Justice Center’s Immigrant Advocacy Program. “But 16 extra hours in jail for immigrants is still 16 hours too long. Immigrants should be treated no differently than citizens: after they post bail, they should be allowed to walk out the front door.”

“There is no law that compels the jail to transfer people to ICE,” said Mia Taylor, organizer with Tenants and Workers United.  “Local law enforcement should not be enforcing the laws of a broken federal immigration system.”

“We are hearing a tremendous outpouring of concern from our friends and neighbors in Alexandria,” said Jonathan Krall from Grassroots Alexandria. “The jail is one place where we have the power to make a change.”

On June 18, Alexandria’s other jail, the Northern Virginia Regional Juvenile Detention Center, announced that, effective September, it will stop renting beds to the federal government to detain unaccompanied immigrant children.  But with yesterday’s announcement, the Alexandria Adult Detention Center will continue to act as a short-term holding facility for ICE, both for immigrants arrested by local police in Alexandria and for immigrants arrested by ICE anywhere else.

ICE has come under fire for inhumane tactics including racial profiling, warrantless entry into homes, and the breaking up of families. The time has come for Alexandria to entirely sever ties with that agency.


Tenants and Workers United builds power in low-income, immigrant communities of color to improve the quality of our lives in Northern Virginia. We organize and support people to be agents of change in their own lives by addressing the issues they care about.

Legal Aid Justice Center is a statewide Virginia nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen the voices of low-income communities and root out the inequities that keep people in poverty.  We provide legal support to immigrant communities facing legal crises, and use advocacy and impact litigation to fight back against ICE enforcement and detention abuses.  Our ‘De-ICE Virginia’ campaign seeks to sever the ties between local law enforcement and ICE.

Grassroots Alexandria promotes local, non-partisan, long-term conversations, community education and action towards positive solutions by those who are moved to act on their conscience.

Va Lawyers to Report Back from Border Facility

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PRESS ADVISORY

CONTACT:        Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, (703) 720-5605, simon@justice4all.org

Virginia Lawyers to Report Back from Border Immigrant Detention Facility Where DHS Holds Parents of Separated Children

On Tuesday, June 26, 2018, at 11:00am, Washington, D.C.-area lawyers will hold a press conference to report their findings from the Port Isabel immigrant detention facility, which the Department of Homeland Security has designated as the holding site for parents of separated children.  The press conference will take place at the offices of the Legal Aid Justice Center, 6066 Leesburg Pike, Suite 520, Falls Church VA 22041.  Please e-mail simon@justice4all.org to RSVP or, if unable to attend, for call-in information.

The lawyers speaking, each of whom interviewed and provided legal counseling to dozens of parents who were victims of the family separation policy:

  • Sophia Gregg, Legal Aid Justice Center staff attorney
  • Ofelia Calderon, founding partner at Calderon Seguin PLC, Legal Aid Justice Center board member, and Dulles Justice Coalition board member
  • Sirine Shebaya, Muslim Advocates senior staff attorney and Dulles Justice Coalition board member
  • Eileen Blessinger, principal of Blessinger Legal PLLC and longtime Legal Aid Justice Center supporter
  • Sara Elizabeth Dill, partner at GJC Corporation and Dulles Justice Coalition board member

Legal Aid Justice Center will also provide updates on their legal efforts to help free immigrant children trapped in juvenile detention centers and locked shelters in Virginia, and to help Virginia families seeking to reunite with immigrant children detained by the government anywhere in the country.

*La conferencia de prensa será en inglés pero los abogados son bilingües y estarán disponibles para entrevistas con medios de comunicación en español.*

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Legal Aid Justice Center is a statewide Virginia nonprofit organization whose mission is to strengthen the voices of low-income communities and root out the inequities that keep people in poverty.  We provide legal support to immigrant communities and use advocacy and impact litigation to fight back against ICE enforcement and detention abuses.  Since 2014, we have represented over 150 immigrant children though our Refugee Kids in Court initiative.

Muslim Advocates is a national legal advocacy and educational organization that works on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for Americans of all faiths.

 Dulles Justice Coalition is a nonpartisan alliance of individual volunteers from legal non-profits, law firms, and all walks of life working to uphold democracy and justice. Our volunteers remain focused on fighting the Muslim Ban and other unjust immigration policies on a person-to-person level and in the courts, and we remain committed to using our collective voice and power to stand shoulder to shoulder with our immigrant and refugee neighbors to counter discrimination and bigotry.

Rally at U.S. Customs and Border Protection

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact Edgar Aranda-Yanoc
edgar@justice4all.org

Legal Aid Justice Center will hold a rally demanding justice for Claudia Patricia Gómez González, and the end of the practice of separating children from their parents at the headquarters of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol at 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NEW, at 11am on Wednesday, May 30th.

On May 23, 2018, the use of excessive force by border patrol agents ended in the death of Claudia Patricia Gómez González.  She was coming to Alexandria, Virginia in search of a better life.  Instead she was killed. 

Meanwhile, our government is literally ripping children out of the arms of their mothers and locking them in separate cages.  The administration says it’s to discourage asylum seekers from coming to the U.S.  We say it’s inhumane.

Join us for a peaceful protest in front of CBP headquarters at 11am tomorrow.  We will gather on 14th St NW, between Pennsylvania and Constitution Ave to demand CBP end its use of excessive force, and demand the administration end the inhumane practice of separating children from their parents.  All are welcome.

Legal Aid Justice Center’s Immigrant Advocacy Program is at the forefront of the fight for the rights and fair treatment of immigrant children in Virginia.

We’ve handled over 150 cases of Central American unaccompanied minors applying for legal status so they can remain in the United States.

We’ve brought a lawsuit against ICE challenging their practice of detaining immigrants in remote detention centers across the country and bouncing them like pinballs from one detention center to the next, without taking their family status and the location of their children into account.  That lawsuit is currently pending.

This month we filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of an immigrant youth who was being held in detention, apart from his family, for nine months with no end date in sight and no clear path for his family to get him out of detention.  Rather than try to defend their actions and policies in court, the government released him two weeks after we filed the case

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