ASAP has filed a first-of-its-kind federal lawsuit against the U.S. government on behalf of ASAP’s first client, Suny Rodriguez Alvarado, and her minor son. The lawsuit seeks monetary damages under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) for the mistreatment that Suny and her son suffered while imprisoned in border detention facilities, including inhumane conditions, the separation of their family, and coercive tactics pressuring them to abandon their legitimate claims.
With ASAP’s help, the family won their immigration cases and now have long-term protection in the United States. Now, by filing this lawsuit, Suny says she hopes to correct the “injustice that the immigration authorities forced me and other moms and their children in detention to endure.” With the government separating asylum-seeking families and coercing them to give up their rights like never before, ASAP is proud to support Suny’s fight against the inhumane treatment of asylum seekers and to demand accountability from the U.S. government.
The lawsuit was filed in federal district court in New Jersey against U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on August 17, 2016. The government argued that the case should be moved to Texas, but the judge denied the government’s motion on May 25, 2017. Suny is now fighting her case in the state she calls home.
ASAP is co-counseling this case with Gibbons P.C., the Worker & Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School, and Morningside Heights Legal Services Inc. at Columbia Law School.
- “Migrant mother, son sue U.S. over treatment in detention” (Reuters)
- “Expertos y activistas denuncian trato de México a migrantes centroamericanos” (Associated Press-Spanish)
- “Rodriguez Alvarado v. U.S.” (New Jersey Law Journal)