Habeas 'When Released' Victory in California: Mejia Espinoza v. Aitken

"[T]he facts show that Petitioner was not detained by ICE until 11 months after her arrest and 6 months after criminal conviction.  Since there is no evidence to suggest that Petitioner hid from immigration authorities or did anything other than return to her home in Oakland, those time periods cannot be considered reasonable in order to justify detention under § 1226(c).  Petitioner detention must therefore be classified under § 1226(a), under which she is entitled to a bond hearing. The Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus will therefore be granted.  Based on the foregoing, the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus is GRANTED.  Within 30 days from the date this Order is filed, the Government shall afford Petitioner an individualized bond hearing consistent with 8 U.S.C. § 1226(a) before an immigration judge with authority to grant bail unless the Government establishes that Petitioner is flight risk or a danger to the community." - Mejia Espinoza v. Atiken, Mar. 13, 2013.

ACLU Press Release: VICTORY: Grandmother in Immigration Detention Finally Receives Fair Hearing - "This week a federal judge ordered a bond hearing for a woman who has been detained without due process by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for nearly a year and a half.  Bertha Mejia, a grandmother with deep family ties in California and with no violent criminal history, was classified by ICE as a “mandatory detainee” because of misdemeanor convictions for stealing groceries.  That classification made her ineligible for a hearing before an immigration judge where she could present evidence that she posed no danger to the community or risk of flight—even as her immigration case dragged on for months with no end in sight.  The victory is the result of a petition the ACLU of Northern California and Ms. Mejia’s immigration attorney, Rosy Cho, filed in federal court in early February.  The ruling recognizes that Ms. Mejia never should have been in mandatory lock-up in the first place, and should have received a prompt bond hearing to determine if she needed to be detained."

  - Rosy H. Cho