US judge says deported mentally disabled immigrants may return | us news

US judge says deported mentally disabled immigrants may return

26 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Hundreds of deported immigrants with mental disabilities may return to US.

Now, hundreds of those immigrants who were previously ordered deported will have the chance to return to the United States to contest their expulsion, US District Judge Dolly M. Immigrants with “serious mental disabilities” deported from California, Arizona, and Washington between Nov. 21, 2011 and Jan. 27, 2015, can now request to have their cases reopened, according to the Associated Press. Many of them are from Latin America or Asia, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which helped file the class action lawsuit, told Reuters. “It was a huge victory, truly a landmark ruling, and we’re very happy that our class members were no longer going to be forced to stand alone in court,” said Carmen Iguina.

The settlement comes after an April 2013 injunction, also issued by Judge Gee, ordered that immigrants with serious mental disabilities have a right to legal representation if they are proven unable to represent themselves. Jose Antonio Franco-Gonzalez, for instance – whose case was central to the lawsuit – was a Mexican citizen with “the cognitive ability of a two-year-old,” wrote Southern Illinois University law professor Cindy Buys in The Globe law journal.

Despite “a 2005 psychiatric diagnosis of moderate mental retardation … and an inability to understand the immigration proceedings, Jose was held in immigration detention for another five years before being released,” wrote Professor Buys. “The US government expected Mr. Franco-Gonzalez and others like him to defend themselves in immigration proceedings.” This ruling now signifies a step toward resolving the status of those hundreds who were deported without a screening before these requirements came, according to Patch.

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