Rodriguez v Robbins is a class action lawsuit seeking to establish that immigrants whom the government has detained for more than six months while their cases remain pending deserve the most basic procedural right — a right to a hearing where they can argue for release on bond.

Alejandro Rodriguez was brought to the United States before his first birthday.  He lived in the U.S. his whole life before the government tried to deport him based on minor theft offenses.  He was detained for nearly three years while he fought to win his case.  He eventually did, and now lives in the Southern California area — but he will never get back the three years of his life that he lost in immigration detention.

The Obama administration continued the policy of denying simple relief to thousands of detainees across the country, including several hundred in the Los Angeles area. The case seeks to stop such travesties of justice, which continue to occur every day in our nation’s immigration detention centers.

Case Developments

May 29, 2018
Petitioners-Appellees Rodriguez filed a supplemental brief in the Ninth Circuit. Read the brief.

October 28, 2015
The 9th Circuit Court issues decision establishing the right to a bond hearing for all noncitizens detained for more than six months pending removal proceedings.

August 8, 2013
The District Court grants summary judgement and orders a permanent injunction requiring bond hearings for all detainees who have been incarcerated for more than six months. Read the ruling.

August 7, 2013
The District Court grants summary judgment and enters permanent injunction requiring bond hearings for noncitizens subject to prolonged detention.

June 25, 2013
The ACLU filed a motion to compel the government to disclose information about bond hearings involving immigration detainees. Read the motion.

April 16, 2013
Then 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that immigrants who have experienced prolonged detention have a right to a bond hearing to determine whether or not they should continue to be detained. Read the opinion.

September 13, 2012
The District Court grants a preliminary injunction ordering bond hearings for all mandatory detainees and detained asylum seekers who have been detained for at least six months. Read the ruling.

May 3, 2012
The court orders the government to disclose critical information concerning class members. Read the ruling.

October 22, 2010
The complaint tells the story of several detainees subject to prolonged detention without bond hearings in the Southern California area. Read the complaint.

January 4, 2010
The Ninth Circuit ordered that the ACLU and its co-counsel could represent a class of immigration detainees held for months, and often years, without bond hearings.  The ruling also paved the way for other class actions brought to defend the rights of immigrants. Read the ruling.

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project; Stanford Law School Immigrants’ Rights Clinic; Sidley Austin LLP

Date filed

April 30, 2007


United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit


On appeal

Case number

13-56706, 13-56755