Stopping Government Interference to Attorney Phone Access in Immigration Detention Centers

Carranza et al. v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement et al., District Court for the District of New Mexico, Case No. 20-CV-00424

ICE implemented policies that deny or restrict detainees ability to make telephone calls at the El Paso Processing Center and the Otero County Processing Center. These policies and practices interfere with individuals’ ability to access counsel, to gather evidence and information, and to prepare for removal proceedings—problems only exacerbated by the current national health crisis brought on by COVID-19.

The American Immigration Council joined Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP in this lawsuit to stop Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from denying detainees the ability to contact their lawyers and the outside world by phone.

The Council’s partners on the ground in detention centers have also reported that these phone access issues have made it extremely difficult to represent detained individuals because in-person visits are impossible due to COVID-19.

By allowing these problems to persist, ICE is violating its own legal standards. 

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