Advocacy & Litigation Program
ImmDef's Director of Advocacy & Litigation, Munmeeth Soni, speaking about the tremendous danger posed by covid-19 to people in migrant detention.
Advocacy through Groundbreaking Litigation
In these difficult times of attacks on our immigrant communities, ImmDef launched the Litigation and Advocacy Program in 2019 with the goal of expanding our appellate advocacy and dismantle the system that seeks to deport our clients.
Issues of particular concern that ImmDef is focused on include access to counsel; detention conditions; prolonged detention; violation of rights of unaccompanied minors; cruel and inhumane treatment of immigrants in the Migrant Persecution Protocols Program and system violation of due process rights.
THE TIME IS NOW
The Litigation & Advocacy team has developed a robust impact litigation and legal advocacy strategy on select cases in immigration and federal court, both at the initial and appellate level.
These advocacy efforts have grown following the 2016 presidential election as we expect federal government enforcement efforts to intensify. The time is now for California to show the rest of the nation who we are and what values we hold dear:
inclusivity, due process, and justice for all.
A 360º ADVOCACY MODEL
Through our advocacy efforts we were able to partake in groundbreaking litigation such as the Innovation Law Lab V McAleenan case, a federal lawsuit that challenged the Trump administration’s policy forcing asylum seekers to return to Mexico and remain there while their cases are considered. Other cases where we have taken on the Trump administration are Rodriguez Castillo v. Nielsen in which we partnered with The ACLU regarding Victorville/Access to counsel. In this case asylum-seekers detained at Victorville FCI, in Victorville, CA, where, starting in Summer 2108, non-criminal immigrant detainees were being held by the hundreds without access to counsel.
ImmDef, through counsel, sued for access and obtained a temporary restraining order requiring the government to allow access to counsel, and allow for ImmDef to provide Know Your Rights presentations and legal orientations to the immigrant detainees. ImmDef’s Director of Litigation and Advocacy was also instrumental in pushing the government to respect the religious rights of the hundreds of Sikh detainees who were held without adequate access to religiously appropriate head coverings, texts, or vegetarian meals.
ImmDef participated in Torres v. McAleenan a lawsuit regarding Access to counsel for Adelanto Detention Center; Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project vs. Barr an in absentia removal order lawsuit filed in District Court, and the Southern District of New York Second Circuit in which the judge dismissed for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.