In June 2017, the ACLU Foundation of Northern California sued Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) for using unsubstantiated claims of gang affiliation to illegally detain teenagers in jail-like facilities in California. The clients are also represented by the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, the New York Civil Liberties Union, and Cooley LLP.
The suit charged ORR with accepting ICE’s unsubstantiated gang allegations and placing children in severely restrictive conditions, even though the government had previously released the youth to the custody of their parents. Plaintiffs were transported to distant detention facilities without notice to their parents or lawyers and were not afforded a chance to challenge the charges against them. Later, the suit additionally charged Defendant USCIS with using these same unsubstantiated gang allegations to deny Class members Immigration Benefits, including SIJ status, U-Visa status, T-Visa status, and asylum in violation of Plaintiffs’ due process.
Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement
A settlement has been reached in this case. Please see below for important information about the settlement.
The settlement class includes: All noncitizen minors who were once detained in U.S. government custody by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (“ORR”), released to parents or other sponsors in the United States, and then re-arrested by the government based on allegations of gang membership or affiliation.
The settlement agreement is available here.