Training: Helping Detained Immigrants Secure a New Bond Hearing in Federal Court

A recent federal court decision in Pereira Brito v. Barr held that as many as 450 noncitizens detained in Massachusetts and surrounding states received defective detention hearings. This training will prepare attorneys to file a federal habeas corpus petition to secure a new detention hearing for a client in this group. The new hearings will have substantially improved procedures and will hopefully result in the release of many clients. 

Sponsored by the PAIR Project and the New England Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). The training will take place on December 13, 2019 from 12-2 p.m. at the offices of Mintz Levin, One Financial Center, Boston.


In June 2019, the ACLU and Mintz Levin filed the Pereira Brito class action in Federal District Court on behalf of alleged noncitizens who are detained in Massachusetts and surrounding states. The class members are all in ongoing Immigration Court proceedings that will decide whether or not they should be permitted to remain in the United States. All of the class members are potentially eligible for release on bond or other conditions for the duration of the proceedings. 

Decisions about release are made in detention hearings in the Immigration Court. The class members received detention hearings that were procedurally defective. The deficiencies included that the Immigration Court was permitted to detain the class members without any showing that they are dangerous or a flight risk. 

On November 27th, the Court granted class-wide summary judgment. A copy of the decision can be found here. Among other things, the Court held that class members currently in detention (about 450 people) received deficient bond hearings and are eligible for a new bond hearing with substantially improved procedural protections. However, these class members are required to file federal habeas corpus petitions to establish that they were “prejudiced” by the inadequate procedures in the original bond hearing (i.e., that the result could have been different if correct procedures were employed).


The purpose of this training is to prepare interested attorneys to assist Pereira Brito class members in securing new bond hearings, which in many cases will hopefully lead to their release from custody. Participating attorneys will learn the basics of filing habeas corpus petitions in federal court, and will learn specific strategies to make the necessary showing of “prejudice.” Course materials will include a habeas petition template and legal reference materials tailored to the likely issues. Once trained, attorneys will be asked to assist one or more class members pro bono. The government is required to identify the detained class members by January 3rd, and referrals to pro bono counsel will likely begin soon after.

**Please RSVP by December 10, 2019 by emailing Elena Noureddine at [email protected] and include “December Training-Bond Hearings” in the subject line.**


Learn more about Pereira Brito v. Barr