ACLU Class Action Settlement Ends Deceitful Immigration Practice:
Lopez-Venegas v. Johnson
A historic settlement agreement results in significant changes to U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) practices known as “voluntary return” (or “salida voluntaria”) in Southern California. Federal immigration officers throughout this region must now treat people who have been detained fairly and institute a number of procedural protections to safeguard their rights.
The agreement also includes provisions that were approved by a federal judge on February 25, 2015, which provide a way for non-citizens who were swiftly expelled from So. California to Mexico by a “voluntary return” to apply to return to their families here.
**PEOPLE CAN ONLY APPLY TO BE PART OF THIS CLASS BEFORE DECEMBER 22, 2015. PLEASE HELP REACH THOSE THE MAY QUALIFY. AFTER DECEMBER 22, 2015, INDIVIDUALS CAN NO LONGER BENEFIT FROM THIS SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT.**
DO YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW QUALIFY?
Many people have been removed to Mexico, but only some have accepted voluntary returns. If you accepted a voluntary return and meet certain requirements, you may be eligible to return to the U.S. and seek legal status.
Here are 4 things you need to know:
KNOW THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
A) Were you removed to Mexico from Southern California anytime from June 1, 2009, to August 28, 2014? B) Did you accept a voluntary return? Did you waive your right to see an immigration judge? C) Did you have a reasonable claim to remain in the U.S. at the time you accepted the voluntary return? D) Are you in Mexico? If you can answer “YES” to all of these questions, you may be able to apply to return to the U.S. to fight your case in front of an immigration judge.
Send an email to avd@aclusandiego or call 619-398-4189 from the U.S. or 01-800-681-6917 from Mexico for a FREE screening interview. The last day to submit an application is December 22, 2015. NOTE: Not everyone who has been removed accepted voluntary return. Only people who meet all the requirements may be eligible to return the U.S.
UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS WILL TAKE TIME
Please be patient and know it may take weeks for someone to call you, but someone will call you back.
DON’T BECOME A VICTIM OF FRAUD
If someone asks for money for a consultation about the voluntary return settlement, don’t fall for it. Only the ACLU and ACLU approved organizations can help you apply.