On Monday, June 25, a federal judge granted emergency relief to allow pro bono attorneys to provide legal counsel to the 121 individuals detained in Sheridan, Oregon.
This ruling was the result of a lawsuit brought by the ACLU of Oregon and Stoll Berne on behalf of the Innovation Law Lab and Luis Javier Sanchez Gonzalez, one of the individuals detained at the federal prison in Sheridan. The suit was brought after repeated denials by ICE and the Bureau of Prisons to allow pro bono attorneys and legal assistants with the Innovation Law Lab meet with individuals in detention and provide Know Your Rights presentations.
Luis Javier, an asylum seeker who was separated from his partner, his five-year-old son, and 18-month-old daughter upon arriving in the United States, has spent nearly a month at FCI Sheridan. When given the opportunity to call his family for a three-minute call, he took the opportunity to ask for a lawyer.
For individuals seeking asylum, access to counsel can be the difference between life and death. And in the era of family separation, counsel can be critical to facilitating the reunification of families fractured at the border.
To read the full lawsuit, follow this link.