Clinic's Amicus Brief Aids in 9th Circuit's Ruling


An amicus brief by the UCI Law Immigrant Rights Clinic (IRC) was cited multiple times in a U.S. Court of Appeals’ opinion in Hernandez v. Sessions. In the opinion, the Ninth Circuit affirmed a preliminary injunction issued by the district court requiring immigration officials, when making bond determinations, to consider both the financial ability to obtain bond and alternative conditions of release.

Jennifer Ferrera ’17 and Oscar Orozco-Botello, attorney at One LLP, co-authored the brief. In it, they detailed stories of individuals suffering from irreparable harm as a result of their unlawful immigration detention.

The drafting was supervised by Profs. Sameer Ashar and Annie Lai, co-directors of the IRC, as well as Peter R. Afrasiabi, attorney at One LLP and co-director of the Appellate Litigation Clinic.

“In the absence of an injunction, harms such as these will continue to occur needlessly on a daily basis,” Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote in the opinion, referencing the harms outlined in the IRC’s amicus brief.

Clinics from eight law schools, along with 13 organizations, joined the brief and provided client stories, including: Asian Americans Advancing Justice—Los Angeles; Brandeis Human Rights Advocacy Program; Center for Gender & Refugee Studies; Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking; Columbia Law School Immigrants’ Rights Clinic; Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto; Cornell Law School’s Asylum and Convention Against Torture Appellate Clinic; Council on American-Islamic Relations; Immigrant Defenders Law Center, Los Angeles; Las Crisantemas; Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic; National Day Laborer Organizing Network; New York Law School, Safe Passage Project Clinical Class; Northwest Immigrant Rights Project; Public Counsel; Rapid Response Network; Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project; University of California Davis School of Law Immigration Law Clinic; University of Colorado Criminal/Immigration Defense Clinic; University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Immigration Clinic; and Western State College of Law Immigration Clinic.

Michael Kaufman, Deputy Director of Advocacy/Sullivan and Cromwell Access to Justice Senior Staff Attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, argued the case.