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Immigration Law

ACLU Sues Immigration Agencies Over 'Voluntary Departure' Procedures

ACLU, June 4, 2013: "Using misinformation, deception, and coercion, Border Patrol and ICE officers have pressured hundreds, if not thousands, of Mexican nationals with deep roots here in the United States into forfeiting their right to a fair hearing and a chance to live here lawfully, alleges the ACLU in a lawsuit being filed today in federal court in Los Angeles.  The lawsuit, Lopez-Venegas v. Napolitano, alleges that as a matter of regular practice, Border Patrol agents and ICE officers pressure undocumented immigrants to sign what amounts to their own summary expulsion documents.  The procedure is formally known as “voluntary departure,” but it regularly results in the involuntary waiver of core due process rights.  An individual who signs for voluntary departure immediately surrenders his or her rights to a hearing before an immigration judge and is usually expelled to Mexico within a matter of hours."