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Certain Deportees Can Return to United States

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Martin Gauto

In August 2014, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reached an important class action settlement with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) over unlawful and coercive voluntary returns, a form of deportation carried out by ICE or CBP without a hearing before an immigration judge.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, there is a very short time period for eligible noncitizens to apply to return to the U.S. in the same status they had before they were pressured into taking voluntary return. The class application period opened on June 27, 2015 and will close on December 23, 2015.

To qualify as a potential class member eligible to apply to return to the U.S., one must be able to answer “yes” to all of these questions:

  • Were you removed to Mexico from Southern California anytime from June 1, 2009 to August 28, 2014?
  • Did you accept a voluntary return?
  • Did you waive your right to see an immigration judge?
  • Did you have a reasonable claim to remain in the U.S. at the time you accepted the voluntary return?
  • Are you currently in Mexico?

The last day to submit an application is December 22, 2015. For more information go to: www.misalidavoluntaria.org or contact Gabriela Rivera, ACLU of San Diego staff attorney and lead on the class implementation portion of the Lopez-Venegas settlement, at grivera@aclusandiego.org.