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Habeas Win on Post-Preap Constitutional Challenge to 236(c): Perera v. Jennings

June 15, 2021 (1 min read)

Judah Lakin writes: "We wanted to share an exciting decision we received on Friday from Judge Freeman in the Northern District of California on Friday granting our client a bond hearing.  We, together with our co-counsel Jenny Zhao and Monica Ramsy from Asian Americans Advancing Justice—Asian Law Caucus, and Scott Mossman, brought a habeas challenging mandatory detention under 1226(c) for an individual who was arrested by ICE in the community, 6 years after he finished his criminal sentence. Our client is an LPR with an aggravated felony conviction (drug trafficking). We asked for the local ICE office to follow the Johnson memo and release him, but they refused. We elevated it to headquarters and they likewise refused.  As a result, we brought an as-applied constitutional challenge to his detention without a bond hearing—a claim which was expressly left open by the Supreme Court in Preap. He had been detained for about 6 weeks at the time we filed the habeas, so it is a non-prolonged detention case.  Judge Freeman applied the Mathews framework and granted our TRO motion, concluding that the Constitution requires a bond hearing in this case. The bond hearing is scheduled for this week, pursuant to the TRO order, so we are optimistic he will be free soon. We’re also hopeful that this case can be used by others as we continue to work to dismantle mandatory detention.  The TRO decision is [here] and is available at: Perera v. Jennings, No. 21-CV-04136-BLF, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110194, 2021 WL 2400981 (N.D. Cal. June 11, 2021)."