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Relevant Decisions

In contrast with criminalproceedings, removal proceedings include only minimal safeguards for respondents with mental disabilities. This page contains summaries of select cases addressing the rights of noncitizens with mental disabilities.

Federal Court Decisions

Franco-Gonzalez v. Holder, No. 10-02211 (C.D. Cal. Apr. 24, 2013): Federal Judge Orders Government to Provide Counsel to Detained Immigrants with Mental Disabilities Facing Deportation

In March 2010, attorneys from the ACLU of Southern California filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in a California federal district court on behalf of Jose Antonio Franco-Gonzalez, a Mexican citizen with a cognitive disability who had been in immigration detention for more than five years. Several months later, the ACLU and other organizations and attorneys filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Mr. Franco-Gonzalez and other detained unrepresented individuals with serious mental disorders in removal proceedings in California, Arizona, and Washington. The complaint stated that the government was required to 1) conduct competency evaluations for all those who the government knows or should know may be incompetent to represent themselves, 2) appoint attorneys for those found in need of counsel as a result of the evaluations, and 3) conduct custody hearings for those who face prolonged detention as a result of the delays caused by their mental disabilities. As a result of the habeas petition, ICE released Mr. Franco-Gonzalez from custody.Read more...

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The Next Arizona

Published on Thu, Oct 28, 2010

After Arizona passed its crackdown law on illegal immigration, SB 1070, politicians across the country said they planned to introduce similar legislation in their states — even after the Justice Department sued Arizona for overstepping its authority to police immigration. Via Immigration Impact, pro-immigration business coalition Immigration Works USA released a report on which states are most likely to go through with their plans. Based on past enforcement policies and Republican support, four states were deemed likely to pass copycat laws: Georgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma and South Carolina.

Published in the The Washington Independent

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 2, No. 13

This issue covers natz delay class actions, challenges to Matter of Perez-Vargas, potential religious worker litigation, and LAC news.

Published On: Monday, November 19, 2007 | Download File

Immigration bill would cost state $40 million a year

Published on Thu, Jan 20, 2011

If all illegal immigrants were removed, the state would lose $1.7 billion in economic activity, $756.8 million in gross state product and 12,059 jobs, according to the non-profit Immigration Policy Center. In a statement accompanying its report, the center opposed SB6 and an earlier, similar Arizona measure now tied up in the federal appellate courts.

"As Kentucky faces a $780 million budget shortfall in fiscal year 2011, state legislators are currently pursuing a costly and short-sighted 'papers please' law," the center said in its statement. "Senate Bill 6 is a copycat of Arizona's SB1070. ... Kentucky should consider the following evidence before continuing to pursue this kind of immigration legislation."

Published in the Lexington Herald Leader

Litigation Clearinghouse Newsletter Vol. 1, No. 3

This issue covers the favorable district court order in the ADIT litigation (Santillan v. Gonzales) and recent decisions addressing Matter of Grijalva and the presumption of effective service.

Published On: Monday, January 9, 2006 | Download File

"Ni Hao" from Hilary Xu

December, 2008
Hilary Xu

The Exchange Visitor Program is pleased to announce Hilary Xu as December's Exchange Visitor of the Month. Each month, we select an exchange visitor who has made an effort to get involved in his/her community and explore American Culture. Read more...

Utah’s immigration bills – a blast from the past

Published on Fri, Mar 18, 2011

The new face of immigration "reform"? Republican Utah Governor Gary Herbert. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Labor supply programs for employers, with deportations and diminished rights for immigrants, have marked U.S. immigration policy for more than 100 years.

Last week the Utah legislature passed three new laws that have been hailed in the media as a new, more reasonable, approach to immigration policy. Reasonable, that is, compared to Arizona’s S.B. 1070, which would allow police to stop anyone, demand immigration papers and hold her or him for deportation. Utah’s law was signed by Republican Governor Gary Herbert on Tuesday, March 15. Arizona’s S.B. 1070 is currently being challenged in court.

Utah’s bills were called “the anti-Arizona” by Frank Sharry, head of America’s Voice, a Washington D.C. immigration lobbying firm. According to Lee Hockstader, on the Washington Post’s editorial staff, the laws are “the nation’s most liberal—and most reality-based—policy on illegal immigration.”

The Utah laws, however, are not new. And they’re certainly not liberal, at least towards immigrants and workers. Labor supply programs for employers, with deportations and diminished rights for immigrants, have marked U.S. immigration policy for more than 100 years.Read more...

Published in the In These Times

Freedom of Information Act

ARCHIVED ISSUE PAGE (LAST UPDATED JUNE 2012)

The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) provides that "any person" may request agency documents, see 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(3), and agencies may only withhold information from a FOIA requester under certain exceptions outlined in 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(1)-(9). These exceptions are to be narrowly construed, and the burden is on the agency to show why non-compliance with a FOIA request clearly falls under one of these exceptions. 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(4)(B). FOIA also requires that an agency determine whether it will comply with an initial FOIA request within 20 days of receiving the request. 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(6)(A)(i). If the agency withholds information or is nonresponsive, the requestor may file an administrative appeal and then file suit in district court.

This Litigation Issue Page summarizes and discusses recent developments in immigration-related FOIA lawsuits. The page also provides information about attorneys' fees, non-litigation related FOIA developments, and links to FOIA resources.

Active Cases|Closed Cases|Non-Litigation Related Developments|Attorney Fees|Additional Resources

Active Cases

FOIA Suit Seeks Release of Prosecutorial Discretion Directives and Guidelines for Removal Proceedings

National Immigrant Justice Center v. DHS, et al., No. 12-04825 (N.D. Ill. filed June 18, 2012)Read more...