This case, brought by the New York Civil Liberties Union and International Refugee Assistance Project, challenges the federal government’s practice of indiscriminately denying parole and bond to arriving asylum-seekers detained at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia for the pendency of their immigration proceedings, which can take months, and in some cases, years, to resolve. The lawsuit was originally filed in July 2017. The petitioners then moved for classwide preliminary injunctive relief in September.
On November 17, 2017, a federal district court in Rochester granted the petitioners’ motion for a preliminary injunction and denied the government’s motion to dismiss. Under the order, asylum-seekers will be notified of the availability of parole in a language they understand, be given a parole interview with an immigration officer, be provided an explanation for their parole decision and be informed they can seek reconsideration if parole is initially denied. Asylum-seekers who have already had their parole denied will have the opportunity for their parole requests to be readjudicated. The injunction also ordered bond hearings for those detained at Batavia for six months or more. On the case from the NYCLU are attorneys Aadhithi Padmanabhan, Chris Dunn, Robert Hodgson, and Paige Austin, legal fellow Victoria Roeck, paralegal Ingrid Sydenstricker, and Data and Policy Analyst Michelle Shames (previously also legal fellow Scout Katovitch and paralegal Andrea Barrientos); on the case from IRAP are attorneys Mariko Hirose and Deepa Alagesan, paralegal Casey Smith and volunteer Sofia Calatrava.