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Center for Human Rights and International Justice

PDHRP Press Release 2-9-2012

February 9, 2012

Daniel Kanstroom,  617 552 0880

In a federal court case brought by the Boston College Post-Deportation Human Rights Project, together with other immigrants rights organizations, the Justice Department has been ordered to disclose the basis for the Government's misleading representation to the Supreme Court that a policy exists for returning wrongfully deported immigrants.

Judge Jed Rakoff, of the Southern District of New York, rejected the Government's attempts to shield Department of Justice emails communicating government policy for immigrants who win their cases post-deportation.

The Solicitor General had argued to the Supreme Court in 2009 that the U.S. government has a policy and practice for returning immigrants who are deported by ICE while their judicial appeals are pending, but who are later found by the courts to have been wrongfully deported. However, the experience of many deportees and  their counsel has long been to the contrary.

"This is a major victory for principles of governmental transparency, ethics, and honesty; but it also shines an important light on the distressing state of post-deportation law.  Even people who win legal appeals after deportation face a tortuously long and complicated path back to their homes and families.  This is a shameful situation in need of urgent reform."  said Professor Daniel Kanstroom, the director of the Boston College Post-Deportation Human Rights Project.