Federal Ruling: Immigrants at NW Detention Center Entitled to Bond Hearings

Mar 12, 2014

As a hunger strike continues at an immigration detention center in Tacoma, a new federal court ruling coincidentally meets one of the protesters demands. 

The court ruling issued late Tuesday says more detainees at the Northwest Detention Center are entitled to bond hearings.

The detainees on hunger strike have criticized the lack of bond hearings at the Tacoma facility, and the high bond amounts.

Matt Adams is an attorney with the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Seattle. He says this ruling will give more immigrants facing deportation “their fair day in court.”

“No one is automatically going to be released, and no one is automatically going to be detained. It’s going to give them a fair hearing and that’s what we’re trying to focus on that everybody gets their fair opportunity to explain why they shouldn’t be separated from their family, friends and employment," says Adams.

Without the chance to post bond, detainees can face months in limbo behind bars.

Adams says this ruling applies in cases where people have been released from the criminal justice system, back into the community. They were later picked up by immigration officials, sometimes years later,  and placed in mandatory detention.

The ruling says these detainees should be given the opportunity for a bond hearing. And that it’s up to an immigration judge to decide which individuals should be locked up or released while their case is pending.

Copyright 2014 KUOW.