If you are a current or future adult immigration detainee who has or will have proceedings in immigration court in San Francisco, your rights may be affected by the Department of Homeland Security Immigration Detainee Class Action Settlement.
The United States Department of Homeland Security (“Defendant”) has reportedly agreed to a proposed settlement of an immigration detainee class action lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (captioned as Uelian De Abadia-Peixoto v. United States Department of Homeland Security, Case No. 3:11-cv-4001 RS) challenging as unconstitutional Defendants’ prior policy and practice of shackling all civil immigration detainees appearing in San Francisco immigration court at their wrists, waists, and ankles during their Master Calendar, Bond, and Merits Hearings without an individualized determination of the need for restraints, according to plaintiffs unopposed motion for preliminary approval of the Department of Homeland Security class action settlement.
The proposed settlement class reportedly consists of all current and future adult immigration detainees who have or will have proceedings in immigration court in San Francisco during the period from December 23, 2011 to three years from the Effective Date of the Settlement Agreement.
The Department of Homeland Security class action settlement reportedly provides, among other things, that the Department of Homeland Security will change its policy so that members of the Settlement Class will no longer be restrained during their Bond and Merits Hearings absent narrowly-defined emergency situations, and while Defendants may continue to restrain Settlement Class members during Master Calendar Hearings, Settlement Class members will be allowed under the settlement to request a modification of those restraints when a physical, psychological, or medical condition would prevent the application of restraints in a safe and humane manner. In addition, the settlement reportedly provides that The Department of Homeland Security will not chain detainees to one another under any circumstances.