The Bay Area Lawyer Chapter of the American Constitution Society, the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, the ACLU of Northern California and Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus presented
Hope for a Civil Gideon?
Franco-Gonzalez v. Holder and Access to Justice for Immigrant Detainees
- Ahilan Arulanantham, Deputy Legal Director, ACLU of Southern California; Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project; Lead Counsel for plaintiffs in Franco-Gonzalez v. Holder
- Anoop Prasad, Staff Attorney, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus, Immigrant Rights Program
- Raha Jorjani,Supervising Attorney and Lecturer, UC Davis School of Law Immigration Law Clinic; Attorney, Alameda County Public Defender’s Office
In April 2013, Judge Dolly Gee of the Central District of California ruled in Franco-Gonzalez v. Holder that immigration courts in Arizona, California, and Washington must provide legal representation to certain immigrants with mental disabilities who face deportation. This unprecedented case raises questions that have accompanied other judicial decisions that have involved sweeping reforms to the court system: What can lawyers do to ensure that the district court’s ruling is implemented effectively? Given that there is no public defender-type office for immigration courts, who will provide the representation? What steps can be taken to ensure that this class of immigrants has access to competent, adequate counsel? This panel featured perspectives from those involved in litigating and implementing the Franco decision to ensure that immigrants with serious mental disabilities have access to justice in deportation hearings.