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Seattle Times Editorial: Benjamin Nuñez-Marquez’ deportation highlights need for immigration reform

http://seattletimes.com/html/editorials/2023376125_immigrationreformbenjaminnunezmarquezedit15xml.html

BENJAMIN Nuñez-Marquez’s deportation, scheduled for April 29, underscores the urgent need for Congress to overhaul the nation’s immigration system.

An operator at a sawmill on Orcas Island immigrated to the U.S. illegally, but he has proved himself an irreplaceable worker and trusted neighbor. Hundreds of local residents and at least four Democratic members of Washington’s congressional delegation have organized efforts to help him stay.

As The Seattle Times’ Lornet Turnbull reported last week, Nuñez was driving a sick neighbor to the hospital in 2008 when the U.S. Border Patrol performed a random check and detained him.

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Federal Court Rules Immigrant Detainees Must Be Given Bond Hearings

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2014

Contact:

Matt Adams, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, 206-957-8611, matt@nwirp.org
Inga Sarda-Sorensen, ACLU, 212-549-2666; media@aclu.org

SEATTLE – A federal court ruled late yesterday that a class of immigrants detained at the Tacoma-based Northwest Detention Center must be given bond hearings. The court’s decision comes at the same time that hundreds of immigrant detainees are participating in a hunger strike at the facility. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Jones also denied defendants’ motion to dismiss the lawsuit brought on behalf of immigrant detainees by the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and the American Civil Liberties Union, with co-counsel from the Seattle law firm Gibbs Houston Pauw.

Robert Pauw said: “It makes no sense for ICE to lock up – without bond – people who have been living peacefully and productively in our community.  That is just what this administration has been doing.  Hopefully the court’s ruling will put an end to this inhumane practice.”

“The court’s ruling recognizes what is at stake, the anguish and hardship caused by being locked up for months,” said Matt Adams, legal director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. “A bond hearing is not a free ticket out of jail. But at least a person has the right to present their case. That is all they are seeking, a fair shot.”

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Detained immigrants must have bond hearings, judge rules

The Seattle Times

http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2014/03/detained-immigrants-must-have-bond-hearings-judge-rules/

A federal judge has ruled that the U.S. government cannot keep certain immigrants locked up at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma without granting them a bond hearing.

The Department of Homeland Security routinely detain immigrants it apprehends for months, sometimes years –in one case a decade — after those people have resolved their criminal cases in state court and are released back into their communities.

While immigration officials begin proceedings to deport them, they are unjustly denied a hearing before an immigration judge who could determine whether they present a flight risk or a danger to the community, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Jones ruled late Tuesday.

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