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Immigrant Rights

The Constitution guarantees basic rights and freedoms to all people in America, not just U.S. citizens. Advocating fair treatment for non-citizens has been an important part of the ACLU’s work since its founding in 1920, when it opposed the summary arrest and deportation of Eastern European immigrants during the Palmer Raids.

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Topic Resources

The Rights of Transgender People in Washington State

Document, Published: 
Friday, May 27, 2016
This brochure is designed to help transgender persons understand their legal rights in Washington State. It answers many common questions about practical legal issues encountered by transgender individuals.
Published: 
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
In 2002, Alex Salas was a carpenter climbing scaffolding at a work site on a wet day in October when he slipped and fell more than 20 feet. He suffered 10 fractures and underwent 13 surgeries, and sued the contractor who was responsible for his injuries. At the first trial in 2006, the contractor was ruled negligent as a matter of law but the jury refused to award any damages to Mr. Salas. At a second trial that ended a few weeks ago, the jury awarded over $2.5 million in damages. Why the difference?
News Release, Published: 
Monday, April 13, 2015
A federal court today held that immigration judges in Washington state must consider releasing detained immigrants on conditions of supervision instead of requiring a money bond.
Published: 
Monday, April 13, 2015
No one should be locked up because they don’t have the money to buy their freedom. But this is the plight of countless men and women currently imprisoned in our immigration detention system.
Published: 
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
In Cambodian Boys Don’t Cry, Rasmey Sam speaks about the horrors of the Khmer Rouge regime and how fortunate he feels being able to attend Cal State San Bernadino. He reflects on how formative those years had been for him, and how he was happy to be able to rebuild his life in the United States.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, August 1, 2014
The ACLU and civil rights groups have asked a federal court to immediately stop the government from pursuing deportation proceedings against several children unless it ensures they have legal representation. The move comes as immigration courts are speeding up deportation hearings via a "rocket docket."
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
The ACLU and allies are pursuing a lawsuit challenging the federal government's failure to provide immigrant children with legal representation in deportation proceedings against them. It is unfair to force children to defend themselves alone against government prosecutors.
Published: 
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
A terrific article in the New York Times calls out government officials for using detained immigrants as extremely cheap labor at federal detention centers. For performing such essential tasks as preparing meals, scrubbing bathrooms, and buffing hallways, the jailed workers are paid all of 13 cents an hour (i.e., a dollar a day) – far less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hour that would be paid to contractors.
Published: 
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Some good news: A recent federal court ruling in Oregon is spurring Washington counties to stop holding immigrants in their jail past the time they are eligible for release. The court found that detainer requests by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are just that – optional requests – and sheriffs could be liable for violating an individual’s constitutional rights by continuing to hold the person.

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