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Detainees sue ICE over detention

Immigrants in Colorado may face deportation even if they have lawful permanent residence status. If immigrants are convicted of criminal offenses, they may be subjected to deportation and removal proceedings. Recently, a lawsuit was filed in California against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement on behalf of a number of Vietnamese immigrants who are currently being detained.

The immigrant plaintiffs in the lawsuit arrived before 1995. The State Department has a document on its website noting that immigrants who arrived in the U.S. prior to July 12, 1995, are not subject to deportation. Many people came to the U.S. from Vietnam and Cambodia before 1995 in order to flee their war-torn countries. Vietnam and Cambodia also routinely refuse to accept their citizens back when they are deported.

Despite this, ICE has recently stepped up its crackdown against immigrants from Vietnam and Cambodia. Since the countries are recalcitrant about accepting people back, some of these immigrants are being held in detention for lengthy periods of time. Through the lawsuit, the Vietnamese plaintiffs are hoping to secure an order for their release from the detention facilities. When contacted, ICE said it would not comment because of the pending litigation.

Immigrants who are facing deportation and removal hearings may want to get help from experienced immigration lawyers. The attorneys may be able to present defense cases to their deportation and removal. If individuals entered pleas to criminal offenses without being properly advised about the potential immigration consequences, the attorneys may be able to secure withdrawals of their pleas. Immigration lawyers might also be able to help immigrants secure immigration bonds so that they remain outside of detention while their cases are pending.

Source: KPCC, "Detained Vietnamese immigrants facing deportation file suit, seek release," Leslie Berestein Rojas, Feb. 28, 2018.

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