Legal Aid Society


LAS Wins Appellate Decision in ICE Prolonged Detention Case

The Legal Aid Society won a 2nd Circuit Appeals Court ruling that found that the federal government must justify the incarceration of certain immigrants subject to deportation proceedings by showing that they are either a flight risk or a danger to the community, , according to

The court unanimously found that Carlos Velasco Lopez – who was incarcerated for fifteen months while the government at no point justified his incarceration – was deprived of his due process rights.

The Legal Aid Society, which represented Velasco Lopez, called the decision an “important check” on the Department of Homeland Security, which “routinely incarcerates non-citizens for months on end, in county jails and other penal institutions, without ever having to demonstrate why incarceration is necessary.”

“The Second Circuit correctly held that this practice violates basic constitutional principles, as it allows DHS to imprison thousands of individuals, like Carlos, who have deep ties to their community, will appear for court and do not present any danger to society,” said Julie Dona, supervising attorney in the Immigration Law Unit of The Legal Aid Society.