AILA Doc No. 15022068 | Dated February 20, 2015
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, February 20, 2015
WASHINGTON, DC -The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) issued the following statement from its President Leslie A. Holman regarding the decision by U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg in relation to detained mothers and children seeking asylum.
“Today, Judge Boasberg took a huge step in protecting Central American mothers and children who have made out strong claims for asylum in preliminary hearings with federal asylum officers. By enjoining the federal government from detaining these families for the purpose of deterring future immigration or even considering deterrence of immigration as a factor in its detention decisions, the Court struck a powerful blow against government abuse of power against vulnerable families. For months, in dozens of cases representing individual families, AILA has argued against the government’s absurd assertion that these vulnerable mothers and their children are some kind of threat to national security. Today we and these families are vindicated.”
“Moreover, the judge has said that such moms and kids are in fact a class that has been harmed by the government’s actions and their class action lawsuit can proceed. These families were held in inhumane conditions, the children were retraumatized and the mothers were forced to share their horrific experiences over and over, often in front of their kids. We told the federal government it was wrong, and today, the champions of these women and children, led by the ACLU, University of Texas and the law firm of Covington and Burling have won a huge victory.
“AILA and its members will continue to fight to end family detention because we know that incarcerating moms and kids who have sought safety in the only way they know how, is wrong. This decision is right, it is just, and it means the world to these families,” concluded Ms. Holman.