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Class Action Suit Brought Against Cases of Immigration Bonds

prisonThere are a number of immigration issues that grip the United States. The scope of each case that comes under scrutiny may vary but some of the more harrowing consequences that stem from immigration issues may jeopardize the well – being of undocumented immigrants. One of the great fears that undocumented immigrants harbor as far as immigration law is concerned is the threat of incarceration. An untold amount of immigrants come into the US in an annual basis. Some of these entries are achieved through the use of nonimmigrant visas while other undocumented immigrants resort to other compromising tactics. One of the more glaring issues that face undocumented immigrants post incarceration is the inability to post parole because of exorbitant bond rates. The case of Honduran native, Maria Sandra Rivera, outlines the details of this issue in an effective manner.

In 2014, Maria Sandra Rivera was jailed in an immigration prison as a result of an illegal entry into the US. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement slapped Rivera with a $7,500 bond before she could post for parole. Given the lack of resources at Rivera’s disposal, the plaintiff decided to pursue a custody redetermination hearing. The results that came out of that hearing did not do Rivera any favors. The judge that presided over the custody redetermination hearing tagged Rivera as a possible flight risk and reduced the bond to $3,500 dollars. The decision didn’t help Rivera’s case in the slightest given the still steep amount that was needed for her to post parole. Consequently, Rivera was sentenced to prison for 5 months.

The conditions that Rivera faced spurred her to sue the Justice Department. The case fell under a federal class action suit and tagged the officials of the Justice Department’s Executive Office of Immigration Review, the Northwest Detention Center, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Seattle Ice Field office as defendants. Rivera’s line of reasoning stated that the judges in Seattle and Tacoma did not allow for conditional parole requests and used incarceration as a method to resolve cases similar to Rivera’s.

In response, the defendants of the case stated that Rivera did not have enough grounds to file the federal class action suit. They cited the fact that Rivera’s case did not fall under the classification of a “prolonged detention” given the fact that she was only incarcerated for 5 months, one month shy before the government was obliged to give her a bond hearing. The defendants’ claims were summarily vetoed by U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik. Lasnik stated that states should consider granting conditional parole over exorbitant bonds to give some sense of reprieve to undocumented immigrants who are facing similar cases.

Cases involving incarceration require the knowledge of a capable team of lawyers. If you or someone you know needs legal counsel regarding cases of incarceration brought about by immigration issues, please contact the immigration attorneys at Lyttle Law Firm in Austin, Texas by visiting our website or calling us today at 512-215-5225.