Federal Court Requires Immigration Courts to Continue to Provide Bond Hearings, Despite <em>Matter of M-S-</em>

Federal Court Requires Immigration Courts to Continue to Provide Bond Hearings, Despite Matter of M-S-

July 3, 2019

On July 2, 2019, in a nationwide class action case, Judge Marsha J. Pechman of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a decision on the parties’ respective motion to vacate and motion to modify the existing preliminary injunction in Padilla v. U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, No. 2:18-cv-00928-MJP (W.D. Wash.). Under that decision, immigration courts must continue to provide bond hearings to individuals fleeing persecution who enter the United States without inspection, are placed in expedited removal proceedings, and pass their credible fear interviews. Those bond hearings must take place within 7 days of request and include certain procedural protections.

In Padilla, Plaintiffs challenge delays in credible fear interviews and bond hearings for certain asylum seekers. The district court previously certified two nationwide classes, including a Bond Hearing Class and a Credible Fear Class.

On April 5, 2019, the court granted a preliminary injunction that ordered the government either to provide members of the Bond Hearing Class with a bond hearing before an immigration judge with new procedural protections within 7 days of their request, or to release them from detention.

On April 16, 2019, before the court’s order took effect, Attorney General Barr issued a decision in Matter of M-S-, 27 I&N 509 (AG 2019), that would have eliminated bond hearings for all members of the Bond Hearing Class. Matter of M-S- was set to take effect on July 15, 2019. In the Padilla litigation, Plaintiffs challenged the decision. On July 2, 2019, the district court held that, despite Matter of M-S-, immigration courts must continue to provide bond hearings to Padilla class members.

The Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, the American Immigration Council, and the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project represent the Plaintiffs and class members in Padilla.

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