New Case Law from the US District Court in the District of Columbia

Safe Passage, February 21, 2015

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Today Judge James E. Boasberg of the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the Department of Homeland Security policy of denying bond to women and young children from Central America who have shown that they have a “credible fear” of harm violated the Immigration and Nationality Act and that detention could not be used as a tool to deter people from seeking protection. The judge provisionally granted class certification to the ten plaintiffs allowing them to stand in for similar women and children. Further the judge wrote:  {these women} are entitled to the protection of the Due Process Clause, especially when it comes to deprivations of liberty.  The temporary injunction should mean that women and children apprehended at the border, have a chance to make their claim for protection from persecution and that they can request a bond hearing.  The court specifically rejected the government”s assertion that detention was necessary to protect national security.

The case is called  R.I.L.-R., et al. v. Heh Charles Johnson, et al. (DHS)  Civil Action No 15-11 (JEB).

Safe Passage Project is very glad to see this order which recognizes that procedural hurdles and detention create terrible barriers to these women and children who are fleeing persecution and the right under domestic and international law to obtain protection.

To read an article about it – check out this article in the NY Times.