Saturday, December 1, 2012

Emergency Mandamus Petition Filed: Arizona District Court "granting ICE de facto jurisdiction to detain a person with a non-frivolous claim to U.S. citizenship"



Kara Hartzler, Esq. today filed an Emergency Mandamus motion with the Ninth Circuit on behalf of Esteban Tiznado, who has been locked up in solitary confinement by Immigration and Customs Enforcement despite a 2008 Arizona jury finding him "Not Guilty" of Illegal Reentry because of the copious evidence of his U.S. citizenship.

Ms. Hartzler's motion speaks for itself:
On May 30, 2012, Petitioner Esteban Tiznado-Reyna filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus and motion for preliminary injunction to the United States District Court of the District of Arizona. See Exhibit 1, Docket Report for 12-cv-01159-SRB-SPL. In this petition, Mr. Tiznado- Reyna contends that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) lacks jurisdiction to detain him on the basis of his non-frivolous claim to United States Citizenship. Six months later, the district court has failed to rule on the preliminary injunction or Mr. Tiznado-Reyna’s multiple motions to expedite, and the magistrate judge has failed to issue a Report and Recommendation on the habeas petition. The district court’s failure to act effectively abrogates this Court’s decision in Flores-Torres v. Mukasey, 548 F.3d 708 (9th Cir. 2008), which requires a threshold decision on ICE’s jurisdiction to detain a person with a non-frivolous claim to United States citizenship. On this basis, Mr. Tiznado-Reyna seeks an emergency petition for mandamus and injunctive relief.
The petition documents the numerous urgent habeas motions and filings on which District Court Judge Susan Bolton and Magistrate Judge Steven Logan have failed to rule, despite having the Government's response brief since July 10, 2012. The petition also highlights the many adjournments by the Florence immigration judge Sylvia Arellano, and explains how Mr. Tiznado-Reyna and his family are suffering as a result:
Mr. Tiznado-Reyna has now spent over seven months in immigrationcustody—much of it in solitary confinement. He suffers from depression and anxiety and has difficulty sleeping. Given the numerous continuances by the immigration judge, he has no idea when he will be released from detention. In addition, Mr. Tiznado-Reyna’s mother is partially blind and her health is in serious decline. Prior to his arrest, Mr. Tiznado-Reyna had served as her caretaker, but since his incarceration, she has been without  assistance. Mr. Tiznado-Reyna’s depression and anxiety is severely  heightened by his concern for his mother and his fear that she may pass away while he is in detention and that he will never see her again.
 This and numerous other cases in which the  federal courts are ignoring habeas motions reveal the government's refusal or inability to pay for the Constitutionally required protection of our due process rights.  Right now the backlog of cases is unconscionably pressing down on the bodies and spirits of people challenging the government's right to remove them from their homes and communities.

 If the government will not or cannot spend the money needed to protect our Constitutional rights while holding us in government custody, then it has abrogated its legal authority to lock us up and immediately must release Mr. Tiznado-Reyna and the tens of thousands of others being held amid interminable delays for immigration hearings.

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