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SACRAMENTO, July 27, 2018 – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, leading a coalition of 10 Attorneys General, today filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Rodriguez v. Marin. Today’s brief was filed to protect due process rights of individuals who are neither a danger to society nor a flight risk, but are still needlessly detained for prolonged periods as they seek to establish a right to remain in this country.

“Our Constitution affords everyone the right to due process. We don’t make exceptions simply because the federal government wants to continue attacking people for political purposes,” said Attorney General Becerra. “People who play by the rules, contribute to our society and economy, and pose no danger to our communities should not be detained for extended periods of time without adequate justification. Failing to provide people with the routine and essential protections provided by the Constitution is un-American and an abuse of power.”

In the brief, the Attorneys General argue that the needless, extended detention of people who are undergoing legal proceedings to establish a right to remain in the United States is devastating for individuals, their families, and communities. The vast majority of these individuals pose no threat to the states in which they reside. Many are integral members of their communities who contribute to their states’  economies by working hard and paying both state and federal taxes.

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California communities are disproportionately affected by these practices because California is home to nearly one-quarter of the United States’ foreign-born population. This includes one-quarter of all legal permanent residents and more than one in five undocumented immigrants, including many who have strong grounds for seeking a legal right to remain in this country.

The Attorneys General argue that if an individual is detained for a prolonged period, the following routine and essential due process requirements should be guaranteed:

  • A neutral arbiter should decide whether the prolonged detention is necessary, and that decision should be reviewed periodically; and
  • There must be adequate evidence to justify the prolonged detention.

Attorney General Becerra is joined by the Attorneys General of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington and the District of Columbia.