Musa-Obregon Law PC Articles ACLU Files Suit Against Mandatory Lock-Up Policies

ACLU Files Suit Against Mandatory Lock-Up Policies

By Musa-Obregon & Associates  Nov. 19, 2012 4:49p

Immigrants Attempt To Battle Law Preventing Opportunity For Bail

In a class action suit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of hundreds of immigrants in New York and New Jersey, the organization is challenging a law that requires immigrants to be held without bail during trials. The law allows no recourse for defendants, even those with families who are determined to be low flight risk.

The case, Gayle v. Napolitano, takes its name from one of the primary named plaintiffs in the suit. According to the ACLU and court records relating to the incident, the plaintiff is a 59-year old immigrant from Jamaica who has been living legally in the country for 30 years, working as a union carpenter in Brooklyn to support his two daughters and, more recently, their children as well.

As court records indicate, the plaintiff was taken into police custody and held without bail in a mandatory immigration lock-up eight months ago. The charges stem from an alleged drug arrest that took place more than 17 years ago. Due to his strong family ties and lengthy residence in the country, the ACLU alleges, he makes an excellent candidate to receive immigration relief, allowing him to remain in the country. They also argue that the man poses no threat to society, and has little incentive to flee if allowed out of jail due to his familial obligations.

Law Creates Burdensome Financial Drain, ACLU Claims

Nevertheless, due to the Immigration Responsibility Act passed in 1996, authorities are required to imprison immigrants who are considered possibilities for deportation due to allegations of criminal activity, without possibility of bail. The ACLU argues in this class action suit that the law is unconstitutional, mandating the detention of people who often have every incentive to stay and fight their charges legally.

They also claim that the law is discriminatory and fails to achieve its goal of protecting citizens, targeting primarily elderly, nonviolent immigrants of color. According to the suit, the law often ensnares people such as the named plaintiff, who would almost certainly not actually be deportable in the first place due to the minor nature of their crime. The ACLU also argues that the Act creates an unreasonable financial burden, estimating the cost of holding the thousands of immigrants at an annual cost of $2 billion.

An Immigration Attorney Is On Your Side

If you have been arrested and are being threatened with deportation, it is imperative that you contact a skilled lawyer with experience handling immigration cases right away! At Musa-Obregon & Associates, our firm is dedicated to protecting you and your family from those who would seek to discriminate against you. We believe strongly that every client deserves the right to an aggressive defense, no matter what your background may be. Please, contact us or visit our website to learn more today.

Other Recent Articles

Justice Department Criticizes Immigration Courts

After conducting a review of the nation’s immigration courts, the Inspector General of the US Justice Department has issued a critical report chastising the system, arguing that mismanagement has ...
More Articles »

New York City Family Fighting to Prevent Deportation of Husband and Father of 3

A New York City man originally from Bangladesh was arrested in mid February by Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials and is being held at a detaining facility. He faces deportation back to ...
More Articles »

New Yorkers Show Support for New Immigration Act

People from New York and across the United States gathered recently in support of the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors Act (also called the “DREAM Act”).
More Articles »
(718) 803-1000
55-21 69th Street Second Floor
Maspeth, NY 11378

Office Hours:
Mon.-Fri. 9am-5pm

Main Website:
View Website
Contact our office by email or phone instantly by clicking the options below: