Washington D.C. (April 26, 2019) – Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox is proud to announce success in a motion for class certification in JECM v. Hayes, together with co-counsel Legal Aid Justice Center and the Southern Poverty Law Center. In a hearing held on April 26, 2019, in the Eastern District Court of Virginia, Judge Brinkema informed the parties that she would be granting the motion on behalf of the child plaintiff class and the sponsor class.

The lawsuit alleges that the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) policy of sharing information about sponsors and household members with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) results in the prolonged detention of unaccompanied minors in its care, which is inconsistent with ORR’s statutory responsibilities to the children. The classes include children detained in ORR custody across Virginia, and their sponsors anywhere in the United States.

The Sterne Kessler pro bono team, including Directors, Salvador Bezos, J.C. Rozendaal, Chandrika Vira; Counsels, Kristina Caggiano Kelly and Yugo Nagashima; Associates, Brady Gleason and Dallin Glenn; and Legal Secretary Ryan Kaiser worked with co-counsel to brief these issues and moot the arguments.

“Judge Brinkema’s decision today sends a strong signal that the court is deeply concerned about the government’s use of child detainees as bait for immigration enforcement,” said Director Sal Bezos, lead of Sterne Kessler’s immigration-focused pro bono matters. “We are incredibly proud of our team and our co-counsel for their work on behalf of these families across the Commonwealth.”

Sterne Kessler is dedicated to providing pro bono legal support to deserving organizations and underserved communities—both locally and internationally. A list of representative matters, as well as further information on the award-winning practice is available here.