For immediate release

Federal Judge in Northern California puts ICE on notice, expects access to counsel for detained individuals

San Francisco, CA. - An Emergency Temporary Restraining Order filed by the ACLU of Northern California on behalf of Pangea Legal Services and other pro bono attorneys challenged access to counsel violations documented in the Bay Area as early as last Sunday and in anticipation of new operations this weekend.

In the decision issued by a federal court judge in California’s Northern District stated, “[T]he Court expects that a noncitizen will not be removed unless and until a reasonable opportunity to talk with an attorney has been provided.” While the judge forewent enjoining ICE, the Court put ICE on notice that it expects the agency to comply with the law and respect people’s right to an attorney.

To ensure compliance with this federal mandate, pro bono attorneys, legal observers, and community advocates will monitor and document any impediments placed by ICE on the right to counsel should mass raids take place in the Bay Area.

“Our mission is clear: wherever ICE processes individuals, our pro bono attorneys will be there - at remote processing centers, at airports, hotels, everywhere,” said Luis Angel Reyes Savalza, immigration attorney at Pangea Legal Services. “The federal judge clearly expects that ICE will provide access to counsel during any planned raids. Should they fail to do so, our attorneys are prepared to take ICE back to federal court. We will monitor this closely”

Rapid response networks remain prepared and available for detained individuals, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please call a rapid response line in your county in the event that you suspect ICE activity, before you publicize on social networks.