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LatinoJustice PRLDEF, long known by its former name the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, is a New York-based national civil rights organization with the goal of changing discriminatory practices via advocacy and litigation. Privately funded, nonprofit and nonpartisan, it is part of the umbrella Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
LatinoJustice PRLDEF, long known by its former name the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, is a New York-based national civil rights organization with the goal of changing discriminatory practices via advocacy and litigation. Privately funded…

The first legal battle against ICE

A civil organization has decided to sue ICE for the unconstitutionality of its arrest warrants.

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The LatinoJustice PRLDEF, formerly known as the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, has decided to file a lawsuit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), for the absence of a judicial authorization in prolonged detention of individuals and for voluntary collaboration between local police officers and the Office, which often result in arrests of undocumented citizens without filing a formal order.

The case has been introduced under the name Joaquín Orellana Castaneda v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, et al, following the situation of Orellana, an immigrant citizen who has lived in the United States for 12 years and was detained in Suffolk County, Long Island, for a traffic violation.

After paying the $ 1,000 bail, the county Sheriff refused to put Orellana free, keeping him in custody for a detention application filed by ICE. But neither the administrative detention nor the order had been signed by a judge or accompanied by a court order, according to The National Institute for Latino Policy.

"The current political climate regarding immigration issues has created an environment where situations such as Mr. Orellana's are occurring all too often," said Juan Cartagena, president and general counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF.

According to the report, ICE's dependence on internal administrative orders requires cooperation with local law enforcement agencies, which must detain individuals for 48 hours without any judicial authorization, violating the Fourth Amendment.

There is a wide record of cases like this over the past five years where some federal court decisions have found local police forces liable of detaining citizens based on ICE administrative detention orders.

This civil organization has decided to stop this type of arrests, which often obviate legal proceedings as the judicial determination of a probable cause in keeping someone behind bars.

" The legal battle is already underway and our team will be in court to make sure that everyone's Constitutional rights are respected," said LatinoJustice.

Orellana's case against the Department of Homeland Security can be read in detail here.

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