Challenging Credible Fear Interview and Bond Hearing Delays

Challenging Credible Fear Interview and Bond Hearing Delays

Padilla v. ICE, No. 2:18-cv-928 MJP (W.D. Wash. filed June 25, 2018)

STATUS:
Pending

Asylum seekers detained after entering the United States are entitled to prompt and fair credible fear interviews and, for those found to have credible asylum claims, bond hearings. This case challenges the punitive practice of keeping asylum seekers in custody for weeks or months without access to credible fear interviews or bond hearings and the lack of basic procedural protections—like hearing transcripts and written decisions—in bond hearings, as well as whether asylum seekers must bear the burden of proof in bond proceedings.

The case was filed as a class action in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The district court judge rejected the Defendants' attempt to dismiss the case on jurisdictional grounds and certified two nationwide classes of certain individuals seeking credible fear interviews and post-credible fear interview bond hearings. Plaintiffs are represented by the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, the American Immigration Council, and the American Civil Liberties Union.

In April, the court ordered the government to provide qualifying individuals with bona fide asylum claims with prompt bond hearings. Then, less than two week later, Attorney General Barr issued a decision in Matter of M-S-, 27 I&N 509 (AG 2019), that would have eliminated bond hearings altogether for Padilla bond hearing class members. Matter of M-S- was set to take effect on July 15, 2019, but Plaintiffs challenged it in Padilla.

On July 2, 2019, the district court issued a modified preliminary injunction, affirming that the government must either to provide qualifying individuals with bona fide asylum claims with prompt bond hearings before an immigration judge with a set of procedural protections within seven days of their request or to release them from detention. This decision is set to take effect on July 16, 2019. The government likely will appeal the decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

For more information about the court’s July 2 preliminary injunction order, please read our Frequently Asked Questions

Follow this case:

  • March 7, 2019
    A federal district court in Seattle, Washington has certified two nationwide classes of detained asylum seekers who are challenging the government’s delays in providing asylum interviews and bond hearings.
  • September 21, 2018
    Yesterday, plaintiffs in an ongoing lawsuit challenging the U.S. government’s targeted efforts to obstruct asylum seekers filed a motion for preliminary injunction demanding timely bond hearings that comport with due process.
  • April 5, 2019
    In a groundbreaking decision, a federal judge in Seattle dealt a blow to the government’s campaign to deter and obstruct asylum seekers applying for protection in the United States. Judge Marsha Pechman ordered the government to provide certain individuals with bona fide asylum claims either a bond hearing before an immigration judge within seven days of their request or to release them from detention.
  • April 16, 2019
    In a decision today, Attorney General William Barr ruled that individuals with valid protection asylum claims who entered between ports of entry no longer are eligible for release on bond by an immigration judge. The decision could result in the unnecessary detention of thousands more individuals each year, despite the enormous financial and human costs. With the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and the ACLU, the American Immigration Council intends to challenge the new decision.
  • December 13, 2018
    A federal district court in Seattle, Washington issued an order rejecting the government’s arguments that recent asylum seekers who enter the United States without immigration status are not entitled to constitutional protections.
  • May 2, 2019
    The American Immigration Council, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and The American Civil Liberties Union, filed a proposed amended complaint in federal court today in order to challenge the Trump administration’s new policy that categorically denies bond hearings to asylum seekers. The policy, announced April 16 by Attorney General William Barr, targets asylum seekers whom immigration officers previously determined have a “credible fear” of persecution or torture if returned to the places they fled.
  • July 2, 2019
    A federal court has blocked a Trump administration policy that categorically denies bond hearings to asylum-seekers. The policy, announced April 16 by Attorney General William Barr, targeted asylum-seekers whom immigration officers previously determined have a “credible fear” of persecution or torture if returned to the places they fled. The American Immigration Council, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, and American Civil Liberties Union challenged the policy with the lawsuit Padilla v. ICE.

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