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Protections after a Worksite Raid

Compose

Protections for Detained Salvadorans after a Worksite Raid

Revised July 7, 2008

Attorneys and legal workers representing per­sons detained in immigration worksite raids should be aware of two provisions of a perma­nent injunction that apply nationwide to nationals of El Salvador detained by immigration authorities. Advo­cates in California and Massachusetts have success­fully used these provisions to prevent the transfer of Salvadorans apprehended in worksite raids to distant detention centers, far away from their family and avail­able low-cost or free legal services. As described in more detail below, the injunction in Orantes-Hernan­dez v. Gonzalez, No. 82-01107 MMM (VBKx) (C.D.Cal. Nov. 26, 2007) (modified, consolidated in­junction), contains two provisions that (1) require im­migration authorities to provide a phone number where relatives and counsel may obtain information about the location of detainees, and (2) restrict the transfer of detained class members to locations outside of the dis­trict of apprehension. Advocates who find that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is not fully complying with these requirements should con­tact the class counsel listed below.

Designated Phone Number

Paragraph 6 of the injunction requires that ICE des­ignate regional phone numbers that relatives and coun­sel may call to obtain information regarding detained class members. ICE’s webpage titled “Information for Families of ICE Detainees” (www.ice.gov/pi/icedetaineeinfo.htm)* contains a link to a list of ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) field offices (http://www.ice.gov/contact/ero/index.htm), which includes for each office the office director’s name, the office’s address and phone number, and the geographical area for which the office is responsible. Under the injunc­tion, a Salvadoran de­tainee’s relative or attorney who calls a DRO field office during normal working hours and provides the detainee’s name to the ICE officer who answers is to be informed of the detainee’s current location. If the detainee is scheduled for departure from the U.S., the inquiring individual should also be informed of the date and time and the place from which the detainee is scheduled to leave. If an attorney informs the officer that he or she wishes to communi­cate with a detained class member who is scheduled for voluntary departure and has not been able to do so, ICE “shall not expel the plaintiff class member until such counsel has had a reasonable opportunity for such communication.” Ad­vocates have had difficulty ob­taining timely informa­tion through this phone system, and if you are unable to obtain detainee location infor­mation within the same business day that you call, please contact the class counsel listed below.

Restrictions on Transfer

Paragraph 11 of the injunction provides that immi­gration authorities “shall not transfer detained class members who are not represented by counsel from the district where they are apprehended for at least seven (7) days,” in order to give them an opportunity to ob­tain counsel. Class members who have or obtain coun­sel may be transferred outside of the district during the seven-day period, but in such cases the venue for the deportation or removal case remains in the district, and the class member must be returned to the district suffi­ciently in advance of any proceedings to allow him or her to consult with counsel. ICE must return the class member to the district “within a reasonable time after receiving a request to do so from the detainee’s coun­sel.”

Injunction and Contact Information

http://www.nilc.org/orantes.html

Attorneys and legal workers who find that ICE is not fully complying with these requirements should con­tact the counsel for plaintiffs listed below:

Karen Tumlin, 213-674-2850, tumlin@nilc.org

Linton Joaquin, 213-674-2909, joaquin@nilc.org