Yesterday, the ACLU and Cooley LLP filed a class-action law suit in California challenging what they characterize as "endemic abuses" stemming from Border Patrol and ICE officers employing "misinformation" and "deception" to coerce Mexican nationals to sign voluntary departure orders and forgo their right to a hearing before an immigration judge.
From the ACLU of Sandiego website:
The lawsuit, Lopez-Venegas v. Napolitano, alleges that as a matter of regular practice, Border Patrol agents and ICE officers pressure undocumented immigrants to sign what amounts to their own summary expulsion documents. The procedure is formally known as “voluntary departure,” but it regularly results in the involuntary waiver of core due process rights. An individual who signs for voluntary departure immediately surrenders his or her rights to a hearing before an immigration judge and is usually expelled to Mexico within a matter of hours.
The lawsuit was filed by the ACLU of California, the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, and Cooley LLP. It includes seven individual plaintiffs that claim that their constitutional rights violated.
Anthony Stiegler, partner at Cooley LLP, provided the following comment:
“The policy and practice of misrepresenting an individual’s legal rights to summarily deport them from this country is inconsistent with the fundamental notions of fairness and due process under our Constitution. The United States derives its core strength because we embrace these values and abide by the rule of law.”
I couldn't have said it better myself Mr. Stiegler.
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