REPORT: Trump administration ordered to restore immigration detention hotline
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A federal court in Los Angeles ordered the Trump administration on Tuesday to restore a hotline set up for immigrant detainees that was deactivated after it was featured in an episode of “Orange Is the New Black.”
Freedom for Immigrants, the nonprofit that ran the hotline, alleged U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) shut it down in August after it was mentioned on the Netflix show that featured a character at an immigration detention center.
The article goes on to state the following:
The agency alleged the nonprofit misused the line by using three-way calling to let detainees speak with family members. The line was not recorded or monitored so detainees could speak with an attorney about their cases.
U.S. District Court Judge André Birotte Jr. issued the preliminary injunction.
The New York Times reported:
Birotte ruled that the nonprofit’s speech “was a substantial and motivating factor” behind the shutdown, and the move forced immigrants to pay $1 a minute to call the group on a line that is now monitored by the government.
“This case should remind us all that the Trump administration is not a law unto itself, but rather accountable to the people and our Constitution,” Christina Fialho, co-founder and executive director of the nonprofit, said in a statement.
It was not immediately clear when the line would be restored. A message sent to ICE seeking comment was not immediately returned.
ICE attempted to block people in immigration detention from connecting w/communities on the outside. It was disappointing but not unexpected that ICE would engage in such cruel behavior.
We can’t wait to start taking calls from people in detention again https://t.co/h1aHnH05a8
— Freedom for Immigrants (@MigrantFreedom) February 12, 2020
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