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Posts Tagged ‘bond’

Sheriff Lee Baca Changes His Position on Secure Communities

December 20th, 2012 No comments
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Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca has reversed his support for a controversial deportation program, announcing Wednesday that he will not comply with federal requests to detain suspected illegal immigrants arrested in low-level crimes.

The sheriff’s dramatic turnaround came a day afterCalifornia Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris issued a legal directive advising that compliance with the requests is discretionary, not mandatory.

Until then, Baca had insisted that he would honor the requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold some defendants for up to 48 hours. He was an outspoken opponent of the Trust Act, which would have required California law enforcement officials to disregard the requests in many cases, declaring that he would defy the measure if it passed.

Baca has also been sued by the American Civil Liberties Union for allegedly denying bail to immigration detainees.

Now, he appears ready to do more or less what was proposed in the Trust Act, which was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown in September.

The change of heart from Baca, a Republican in a heavily Democratic county, comes as GOP leaders are warming to immigration reform in an effort to counteract dismal support from Latino voters. Last month, Baca closed the 1,100-bed Mira Loma immigration detention center, which earned his agency up to $154 a day for each detainee, after contract negotiations with ICE broke down.

None of those considerations were at play, a Baca spokesman said. The sheriff’s reversal was prompted solely by Harris’ opinion, which contradicted advice from Los Angeles County attorneys that the requests were mandatory, said the spokesman, Steve Whitmore.

Baca joins Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck,who announced a similar policy in October. San Francisco and Santa Clara counties also decline to honor some types of ICE holds.

The change may not take effect until early next year. Baca’s staff must first flesh out the details of the new policy, which would apply only to those arrested in misdemeanors who do not have significant criminal records. The department would still honor federal detention requests for those accused of serious or violent crimes.

Under the federal Secure Communities program, all arrestees’ fingerprints are sent to immigration officials, who flag suspected illegal immigrants and request that they be held for up to 48 hours until transfer to federal custody.

Secure Communities has come under fire for ensnaring minor offenders when its stated purpose is to deport dangerous criminals and repeat immigration violators. According to federal statistics, fewer than half of those deported in Los Angeles County since the program’s inception in 2008 have committed felonies or multiple misdemeanors. Critics say immigrants have become fearful of cooperating with police.

“The last thing we want is victims to be frightened to come forward,” Whitmore said.

ICE officials said Baca’s new policy is in line with federal priorities and will affect only a “very small number” of cases.

“The identification and removal of criminal offenders and other public safety threats is U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s highest enforcement priority,” the agency said in a statement.

Immigrant rights advocates called Baca’s announcement a long overdue breakthrough.

“This will send a very strong message nationwide that in … the most multicultural city in the nation, the sheriff is there to protect and to serve, not to deport,” said Jorge-Mario Cabrera, communications director for the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles.

Supporters of the Trust Act, which was reintroduced in modified form by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) earlier this week, said it is still necessary because detention policies should not vary by jurisdiction.

“It’s imperative that California have a uniform statewide policy. It’s essential that people not receive different treatment under the law as they’re driving up and down the 5,” said Chris Newman, legal director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.

Baca has not taken a position on the new Trust Act, which is likely to evolve during the legislative process, Whitmore said.

Release on Bond Granted for Garden Grove Client

November 10th, 2012 No comments
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We recently received the good news that one of our clients would be released from Adelanto on bond. We presented a mountain of evidence proving his ties to the community and record of past attendance at court hearings. We argued that although his crime was serious, he could be counted on to attend all future hearings. Additionally, we provided the court with medical records showing he had substantial health problems that required immediate assistance that could not be provided while in detention.

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The judge agreed with us despite the government attorney’s objections. The government reserved appeal, but did not file an appeal. Our client was released a few days later after the family was able to collect the necessary funds.

The Nunez Firm occasionally handles bond hearings on a case-by-case basis. If you require assistance for a detained friend or relative, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a consultation with managing attorney Jay Nunez.

Bond Hearing Successful and Client Released from Musick Facility on Bond

September 27th, 2011 No comments
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Recently, one of our detained immigration clients was approved for release on bond. She was being detained at the James Musick Facility in Irvine after her second DUI conviction. Despite not having a green card or lawful permanent resident status, we convinced the Immigration Judge to set a reasonable bond amount and release her.

We showed that she has been in the US for many years and resides with her parents. She has a history of attending all court appearances. We provided evidence that she is currently studying in a professional school and had a history of employment before school.

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The judge was concerned with the criminal convictions but ultimately agreed that she was not a mandatory detention case or a flight risk and granted bond. The family was very happy and paid the bond amount soon after. Her case will now be transferred from the detained docket to the non-detained docket in Los Angeles for further processing.

If you have a loved one in detention at the Musick Facility in Irvine, contact The Nunez Firm to schedule a consultation. We can help you better understand whether bond is available and what options exist to fight deportation and removal.

INS Hold Removed and Client Released from Immigration Detention in Santa Ana

May 15th, 2009 1 comment
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A client of mine was arrested last week for an outstanding warrant. The police officer asked about his immigration status, and my client admitted he did not have a green card. After serving several days in Santa Ana jail for the warrant, United States Citizenship & Immigration Services put an INS hold on his release. An INS hold is when the federal immigration agency requests that the police or sheriff detaining an individual not release the person because there are immigration issues, and the person might be deportable.  

I managed to speak with an immigration officer in Santa Ana about my client’s case. I explained that he had no serious criminal record and he was married to a US citizen. I told the ICE officer that my client was eligible to receive a green card through his marriage, and we were in the process of filing the paperwork. I asked the ICE officer to remove the INS hold and release my client. Several hours later, my client was released from custody, and his wife picked him up.

Although most INS hold situations involve more effort to have the hold removed, and some involve motions for bond hearings and other strategies, it is possible to have an INS hold removed or have the person released on an immigration bond. If a loved one is in jail or immigration detention, contact The Nunez Firm to discuss your situation. The Nunez Firm can help you to get the INS hold removed and get your loved one out of detention.

Reforming Immigrant Detention Facilities Becomes a Key Part of Immigration Reform

February 3rd, 2009 2 comments
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There have been several incidents nationwide involving abuse and neglect of immigrants detained by the Federal Government. Several individuals have died while in the custody of U.S. Immigration agencies. Others have been denied adequate medical treatment and have suffered a great deal. (Francisco Castaneda was denied medical attention for penile cancer. Eventually his penis was amputated and he died some time later.)

Conditions in Detention Centers have worsened in recent years. Detainees have been kept in deplorable conditions as they await trial for their immigration case. With the growing movement for immigration reform, immigration detention reform has gained steam as well. Numerous detention reform groups have arisen, and other immigration reform groups have focused more heavily on detention reform as well.

If your loved one has been detained by Immigration & Customs Enforcement, call The Nunez Firm today (949-903-0088) to discuss the options available to you. The Nunez Firm can help your loved one pursue release on bond and help you defend against deportation proceedings. I have helped many individuals get released on bond, and many other clients have avoided deportation entirely.

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