Settlement of Detainers Lawsuit in Connecticut: Brizuela v. Feliciano

On Feb. 19, 2013, Muneer I. Ahmad, Clinical Professor of Law, Yale Law School wrote: "Students in our Worker & Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic announced a settlement in Brizuela v. Feliciano, a suit filed in federal court last year challenging the honoring of immigration detainers by the Connecticut Department of Correction (DOC) as the sole basis for detention of individuals in its custody beyond the time when they would otherwise be released from state custody.  Our client, Sergio Brizuela, was held by DOC on a detainer and transferred to ICE custody after the state’s legal custody of him expired.  Under the terms of the settlement, DOC has adopted a policy of case-by-case review of detainers, according to which detainers will only be honored if certain public dangerousness criteria are met.  As a result of the policy, the number of Connecticut residents held pursuant to an immigration detainer has fallen by 70%.  The policy will remain in place for four years, and DOC will provide notice to individuals who have been issued an immigration detainer, and a second notice to those whose detainers DOC decides to honor.  Joining law enforcement agencies in San Francisco, Santa Clara County, Cook County, and Washington, DC, the Connecticut DOC becomes the first statewide agency in the country to resist the immigration detainer scheme on which ICE’s Secure Communities program depends.  [Here are links to] our press release and the new DOC policy, Administrative Directive 9.3."

Media coverage: New Haven Independent and New Haven Register.