Recent Litigation

Class action lawsuit against Tuscon Border Patrol

Unconstitutional Conditions in CBP Detention Facilities Challenged in Class Action Lawsuit

Doe v. Johnson, No. 15-00250 (D. Ariz. filed June 8, 2015)

Immigrant rights groups have filed a class-action lawsuit challenging detention conditions in CBP (Customs and Border Protection) detention facilities. The complaint alleges that Tucson Sector Border Patrol holds men, women, and children in freezing, overcrowded, and filthy cells for days at a time in violation of the U.S. Constitution and CBP’s own policies. Detained individuals are stripped of outer layers of clothing and forced to suffer in brutally cold temperatures; deprived of beds, bedding, and sleep; denied adequate food, water, medicine and medical care, and basic sanitation and hygiene items such as soap, sufficient toilet paper, sanitary napkins, diapers, and showers; and held virtually incommunicado in these conditions for days.

The American Immigration Council, the National Immigration Law Center, the ACLU of Arizona, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, and Morrison & Foerster LLP have filed suit on behalf of two women detained in the Tucson Border Patrol Station as well as a Tucson man detained twice in that facility. All Plaintiffs consistently recount days of mistreatment and neglect during their time in Border Patrol holding cells. Plaintiffs’ accounts are fully consistent with accounts of the many former detainees who signed declarations describing their confinement in holding cells within the Tucson Sector. Plaintiffs allege that conditions in all of the Tucson Sector Border Patrol facilities violate the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment and the Administrative Procedure Act and seek to compel the Tucson Sector of the Border Patrol to bring its detention facilities in line with Constitutional standards, including limiting the time a person may be detained in holding cells to a few hours, providing adequate food, water, and medical care, beds and bedding, access to showers and hygiene supplies, and maintaining appropriate capacity limits and temperature controls, among other reforms.

Background:

Other Resources:

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Border Patrol Infographic 6.9.15

Click here to download PDF version

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Uelian de Abadia-Peixoto, et al. vs. United States Department of Homeland Security, et al. (a.k.a. Shackling Case)

The class action lawsuit Uelian de Abadia-Peixoto, et al. vs. United States Department of Homeland Security, et al., filed by LCCR, ACLU-Northern CA, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati,  challenged the shackling of immigrants held in custody in handcuffs, leg irons, and chains during their civil immigration proceedings in San Francisco, which caused physical pain, humiliation, and due process violations by having to appear in court in such compromised conditions. After several years of protracted litigation, the settlement brought an end to the automatic practice of forcing all detained immigrants to be restrained in these debilitating ways.

Case Documents for Shackling Case:

Martins v. U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services et al. (a.k.a. Martins Case)

The case of Martins v. U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services et al. brought by LCCR, with co-counsel Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, challenged the categorical denial to asylum applicants for access to the notes taken by the asylum officers who interview them.  These notes document the content of the asylum interviews and often provide the only means of understanding what transpired during the interviews. The settlement ensures that the Government will no longer categorically deny applicants for asylum access to the notes taken by the asylum officers who interview them.

Case Documents for Martins Case:

Comite de Jornaleros de Redondo Beach; National Day Laborer Organizing Network v.City Of Redondo Beach (a.k.a. Day Laborer Rights)

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of day laborer groups in a precedent-setting case litigated by LCCR and MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund). The Ninth Circuit held that Redondo Beach’s ban on seeking work, business, or contributions in many public areas was an unconstitutional speech restriction. This is the first published federal appellate decision recognizing day laborers’ right to seek work in public spaces.

Case documents for Day Laborer Rights case: