January 26, 1987: Eight L.A. residents were arrested under a 1952 anti-communism law — launching one of the longest immigration cases in U.S. history. The 'L.A. 8' (seven of whom are pictured at left in 1987) were accused of being members of a Marxist Palestinian group, which they denied. The ACLU/SC joined other lawyers in defending the eight, and charges were never filed. But members of the L.A. 8 faced deportation based on the same evidence.
On Jan. 30, 2007, almost exactly 20 years after their arrest, an immigration judge dismissed the deportation case against the remaining two defendants. The judge called the dragged-out deportation effort an "embarrassment to the rule of law." The Department of Homeland Security can appeal the case.
Last year, Aiad Barakat became the first of the L.A. 8 to win citizenship, and four others are now permanent U.S. residents. Click here to read the press release.
Photo: Seven members of the 'L.A. 8' in 1987.