Immigrant families in California garnered a victory recently, when U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of California Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers granted a preliminary injunction in the case of Preap v. Holder.
The case, brought by Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Asian Law Caucus, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and Keker & Van Nest LLP Partner Jon B. Streeter, seeks to halt the federal government’s ongoing practice of holding undocumented immigrants, often for minor infractions, for months as they begin the deportation proceedings. In most cases the immigrants do not pose a flight risk, have ties to their communities and are raising families.
Holding these immigrants without bond denies them the ability to mount their defense in deportation cases. The practice also rips families apart, leaving children with one less parent and often leaving family members to raise children without the detainee’s income. The rule of law is quite literally hurting children and families.
Streeter said, “This case has the power to stop the federal government’s outrageous process of holding people without bond. We are now one step closer to ensuring those who aspire to be citizens are treated fairly before the law.”
Judge Rogers’ injunction comes at a critical time in the fight for comprehensive immigration reform. Last summer the Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill. House leaders, including Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), however, refuse to allow the bill to come up for a vote, insisting they would only consider piecemeal actions instead of the Senate bill. Meanwhile, 11 million otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrants in the United States are denied the chance at a path toward citizenship.
Without comprehensive immigration reform, our nation’s immigrants face ongoing risk of arrest and detention for simply being who they are in the country they call home. They depend on victories like the one issued by Judge Rogers, not to get by, but to get through another day.