Wednesday, February 12, 2014
A federal judge issued a ruling earlier this week that will enable Connecticut and Massachusetts residents and others held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to challenge the lengthy detention of persons who pose no danger to the community. In his ruling, U.S. Judge Michael Ponsor rejected the government’s “dubious interpretation” of immigration statutes and certified a class of all immigrant detainees held six months or longer in Massachusetts. Judge Ponsor characterized the government’s arguments as “irrelevant,” “ultimately flawed,” and unable to “withstand scrutiny.” The representative plaintiff for the class is Mark Reid, a lawful permanent resident from New Haven, Connecticut and veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve. Reid is currently detained by ICE in Massachusetts. Reid and class are represented by students from the Worker & Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic (WIRAC) and the Veterans Legal Services Clinic, part of the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School.