News & Events

Friday, December 21, 2012

Rodriguez Bond Motions Provide Hope For Detained Immigrants

By Ramon Trujillo 

Gupta & Trujillo participated in AILA Southern California Chapter’s CLE event, “A Discussion on Rodriguez Bond Motions” on December 19, 2012.  The event covered a relatively newer procedure that is being used to assist aliens who are detained indefinitely.  

Rodriguez v. Robbins is a case that is pending before the Central District court of California and only applies to the courts within the Central District’s jurisdiction.  The case is being litigated by the ACLU.  Recently, the court granted a preliminary injunction allowing certain individuals who had previously been denied bond a second opportunity at being released on bond, pending a “Rodriguez motion.” 

When placed in Removal Proceedings in Immigration court, immigrants either decide to fight their charges and find a way to remain in the country or get deported back to their native country, voluntarily or through an Immigration Judge’s order.   When some of those individuals who decide to apply for some form of relief through the immigration court, the process can unfortunately be a very, very lengthy one. 

The length of time can be torturous to some.   Some immigrants are denied bond early on and must remain incarcerated until their case is finished.  Previously, there was little that could be done to assist these individuals. 

In some instances, knowing the delays ahead of them, some choose to not fight.   Understandably, many of these individuals have served their jail terms, some as little as a few months, but will remain incarcerated, sometimes even at the same jail where they served their criminal sentence, indefinitely, pending the outcome of their immigration filings.  

While relief through a Rodriguez motion may not grant relief to every single person detained for a prolonged time, aliens detained for six months while their case is pending are eligible to seek bond through a “Rodriguez motion.”  

In order to qualify, an individual must be detained for longer than six months pursuant to the general immigration detention statutes pending completion of removal proceedings, including judicial review; the person cannot be detained pursuant to one of the natural security detention statutes at 8 U.S.C. § 1226a and 1531-37; and have not been given a hearing to determine whether their prolonged detention is justified. 

The burden of proof is on the government to establish the basis for detention.  However, based on the discussions during the course of the CLE, it appears that there is much confusion in terms of the process by both judges and practitioners.  Bond amounts vary from minimal to extravagant.   While this is an evolving area of law, the efforts of many organizations involved look to shape how this bond re-determination can positively affect many aliens who are indefinitely detained. 

Law Offices of Ramon Trujillo assists clients with Immigration and Criminal Defense in Orange, Irvine, Villa Park, Santa Ana, Anaheim, Tustin, Placentia, Garden Grove, Fullerton, Yorba Linda, Brea, Stanton, Fountain Valley, Midway City, Costa Mesa, Westminster and throughout all of Orange County, Los Angeles County, Riverside County, the Inland Empire, and San Diego County.

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