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Immigration Law

Federal Court Slaps ICE, Grants Class Action

"Since he was taken into custody in November 2012 by immigration agents, New Havener Mark Reid has been fighting for his release. As of this week, dozens of other detainees can join his fight.

Reid, who’s 49, will be the lead plaintiff on a class action lawsuit brought by people held on immigration charges without a bond hearing for more than six months in Massachusetts. That includes immigrants picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in Connecticut, who are all held in Massachusetts.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Michael Posnor granted a motion for the creation of a class of people who are, like Reid, being held by ICE without a bond hearing. The motion was filed by students at Yale Law School, who Tuesday held a press conference to discuss Posnor’s ruling. ... 

In granting the motion Monday, Judge Posnor also took a couple of swipes at the government, which he said has “remained steadfast to its dubious interpretation” of the law covering detention of immigrants. Despite “numerous court decisions,” the government continues to hold people for long periods without bond hearings.

Mike Wishnie, head of a law clinic working on Reid’s case, called it “appalling” that ICE continues to fight and lose habeas petitions time and again. A class action suit offers a more powerful tool to push back against ICE’s detention practices, rather than fighting cases one by one." - New Haven Independent, Feb. 11, 2014.