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 North Washington. In December, the district court judge rejected the Defendants’ attempt to dismiss the case on jurisdictional grounds, and in March, the court 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 and the American Immigration Council.

On April 5, 2019, the court ordered the government either to provide qualifying individuals with bona fide asylum claims with a bond hearing before an immigration judge within seven days of their request or to release them from detention. The court further ordered that, at those bond hearing, the government must justify continued detention, record all bond hearings and produce the recording or transcript on appeal, and produce a written decision with particularized determinations of individualized findings at the conclusion of the bond hearing. The government has 30 days to implement these measures. 

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.

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