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CA9 on ICE, Bond, Habeas: Bello-Reyes v. Gaynor

January 14, 2021 (1 min read)

Bello-Reyes v. Gaynor

"This case requires us to consider whether the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Nieves v. Bartlett, 139 S. Ct. 1715 (2019), applies to a noncitizen’s claim that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) unconstitutionally retaliated against him for his speech when revoking his bond and rearresting him. Jose Bello-Reyes (“Bello”) had been detained by ICE and released on bond in 2018. On May 13, 2019, Bello spoke at a rally and read a poem of his own writing, entitled “Dear America.” In this poem, he publicly criticized ICE enforcement and detention practices. Less than thirty-six hours later, ICE revoked his bond and re-arrested him. The Government contends that ICE had probable cause to arrest Bello, and thus his retaliatory arrest argument fails under Nieves. See 139 S. Ct. at 1727. We agree with Bello, however, that the distinctions between Nieves and Bello’s habeas petition indicate that Nieves should not control in this case. We reverse and remand for the application of the standard from Mt. Healthy City Bd. of Educ. v. Doyle, 429 U.S. 274, 287 (1977). ... We note as to the initial showing that the district court was correct to remark that the “timing of ICE’s decision to rearrest [Bello] is highly suggestive of retaliatory intent.” "

[Hats off to Jordan Wells (argued), Ahilan Arulanantham, Stephanie Padilla, and Michael Kaufman, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California, Los Angeles, California; Angélica H. Salceda and Vasudha Talla, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Northern California, San Francisco, California; for Petitione-Appellant and Michael Risher, Law Office of Michael T. Risher, Berkeley, California; Alina Das, Washington Square Legal Services, New York, New York; Nora Benavidez, Director, U.S. Free Expression Programs, PEN America, New York, New York; for Amicus Curiae PEN America!]