Federal Judge: Detainer Class Action Lawsuit May Move Forward

Federal Judge: Detainer Class Action Lawsuit May Move Forward

"A federal judge in Illinois has ruled that Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center, in collaboration with Winston & Strawn LLP, can proceed with a federal lawsuit that challenges the U.S. government’s use of immigration detainers, a key tool in the Secure Communities enforcement program which has resulted in record levels of immigration detention and deportation under the Obama administration.  The Honorable John Z. Lee of the U.S. District Court for Northern Illinois found that the two plaintiffs — including a U.S. citizen — can sue the government even though it lifted their detainers soon after they filed the lawsuit.  The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issues detainers to instruct local police to continue to detain individuals after the local police’s authority has expired, until DHS officers arrive to take the individuals into custody.  The plaintiffs are representatives of a possible class action consisting of thousands of individuals subjected to immigration detainers." - NIJC, Dec. 4, 2012.