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Brooklyn Defender Services

Lora is a famous name in New York immigration courts. Thanks to a case Alex Lora and his legal team at Brooklyn Defender Services (BDS) and New York University School of Law (NYU) brought to challenge his immigration detention, all immigrants detained for six months in the Second Circuit had the right to a day in court where a judge can determine if their continued detention is justified. This decision stood from 2015 until February 27, 2018, when the Supreme Court issued a devastating 5-3 decision in Jennings v. Rodriguez, which reversed these gains.

We produced this video in November 2016. After the Supreme Court's ruling, NowThis re-released our video on social media within the new context.

Across the country, thousands of people languish in immigration jails as they await their court hearings. For Mr. Lora, mandatory detention cost him his job, his ability to provide for his family, and his two-year-old son, who was placed in foster care after Mr. Lora was taken from his home. Since his release, he has been able to rebuild his life and regain custody of his son. For Mr. Lora and others in the Second Circuit, bond hearings provided a critical procedural protection to prevent harmful and needless long-term detention.

This most recent decision means that immigrants, including asylum seekers and long-time green card holders like Alex Lora, may be indefinitely separated from their families, their jobs, and their communities, and held in detention centers without the opportunity to request release on bond.

In this video, hear from Mr. Lora himself about his life and his experience in detention, which illustrates what is at stake in Jennings.