Hogan Lovells files suit on behalf of migrant children facing deportation without due process

Washington, DC 27 July 2018 – International law firm Hogan Lovells filed a lawsuit in federal court today on behalf of migrant children whose reunification with their families has made them vulnerable to deportation without due process.

The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against various government officials and agencies. It challenges the government’s planned deportation of reunified families – many of whom are fleeing violence in Central America – as violating both the Immigration and Nationality Act and the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution. In the complaint, the plaintiffs assert that they have been denied the opportunity to seek asylum, even though they have expressed a fear of returning to their home countries.

“This new policy is yet another violation, in a series of violations, of international and domestic law intended to deny asylum seekers the due process they are guaranteed,” said Manoj Govindaiah, Director of Family Detention Services with the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES). “It is shameful that the administration is choosing to ignore pleas by children who are afraid to return to their home countries and who simply want the opportunity to be heard, with their parents. Children’s lives are not political pawns.”

The plaintiffs are all children who, after entering the United States, were forcibly separated from their parents under the government’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy that took effect earlier this year. In many cases, their parents signed forms choosing to be deported with their children, rather than being deported alone. These forms said little or nothing about what rights the parents or their children might have under U.S. immigration laws. Now, these families are in danger of imminent deportation without being afforded due process.

“Many of these parents were vulnerable after being separated from their children, and felt compelled to choose being deported with their children in order to be reunified with them,” said Hogan Lovells Pro Bono Partner T. Clark Weymouth. “These children are afraid to go home, and they have statutory and constitutional rights to seek asylum in the United States. Through this lawsuit, we want to ensure that they have the opportunity to avail themselves of those rights before being summarily deported.”

The Hogan Lovells team of lawyers is being led by Oliver Armas, T. Clark Weymouth, Justin Bernick, and senior associate Zachary Best.

About Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells is a leading global legal practice providing business-oriented legal advice and high-quality service across its exceptional breadth of practices to clients around the world.

“Hogan Lovells” or the “firm” is an international legal practice that includes Hogan Lovells US LLP and Hogan Lovells International LLP. For more information, see www.hoganlovells.com.

About RAICES

The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees in Central and South Texas. RAICES is the largest immigration nonprofit in Texas with offices in Austin, Corpus, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio.

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