6 January 2014
In November 2012, the Los Angeles office of Mayer Brown partnered with the ACLU of Southern California in an initiative to provide representation to immigration detainees at bond hearings. The project followed a ruling by the US District Court for the Central District of California granting a preliminary injunction ordering bond hearings for all mandatory immigration detainees and asylum seekers who had been detained for at least six months. The ruling was in a response to a class action lawsuit filed by the ACLU seeking a ruling that immigrants in deportation proceedings whom the government has detained for more than six month while their deportation cases remain pending deserve the basic procedural right to a hearing where they can argue for release on bond.
As part of this initiative, Mayer Brown associate Elizabeth Crepps and partner John Zaimes represented a Peruvian man who had already spent four years in detention fighting his deportation proceedings. Mayer Brown obtained a reversal of a bond denial and also took on representation of the man’s general immigration case.
However, the man’s family was unable to afford the bond, so in December, the firm secured another bond hearing and convinced the Immigration Judge to lower the bond to an amount the family could afford. On December 18, 2013, after more than five years in detention, the man was able to return to his wife and family, just in time for Christmas.