Two Bay Area fathers who have been detained for over six months at the Contra Costa West County Detention Facility in Richmond, California sued the federal government today in a class action lawsuit challenging their unlawful and prolonged detention.
Plaintiffs Esteban Aleman Gonzalez of Antioch and Jose Gutierrez Sanchez of San Lorenzo are represented by Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale, LLP, Centro Legal de la Raza, the Law Offices of Matthew H. Green, and the ACLU Foundations of California.
Aleman Gonzalez and Gutierrez Sanchez were arrested by Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers in the Bay Area in the fall of 2017. They are seeking protection in the United States, and asylum officers with the Department of Homeland Security have determined that both men have a reasonable fear of persecution or torture if deported. Because of this determination, the federal government does not have the authority to deport them.
Nevertheless, the government has kept them in detention and refused to provide bond hearings – proceedings where immigration judges determine whether they can be released back to their families and lives. Both Aleman Gonzalez and Gutierrez Sanchez have young U.S. citizen children and are the primary providers for their families.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs estimate the class size numbers in the hundreds. The class is comprised of people detained throughout the Ninth Circuit who have been or will be detained for six months pursuant to a particular immigration statute and denied a prolonged detention hearing before an immigration judge.