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Because of his prolonged detention, Lopez’s case attracted heavy media attention and became the focal point of a debate on the indefinite detention of undocumented immigrants. Advocates argue that it violates immigrants’ constitutional rights and makes it extremely difficult for them to properly fight their cases.

Community members across the Bay Area rallied for Lopez’s release for more than a year, often protesting ahead of his court hearings. . . .

“His victory is symbolic of what many immigrants are experiencing, from indefinite detention to jail transfers and inhumane jail conditions,” said Juan Prieto, spokesman for the California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance. “It’s a victory against all of the different injustices that we’re seeing come out of the executive branch from President Trump.”

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A Richmond construction worker who has been detained for nearly two years while fighting deportation will get a bond hearing and a new chance for freedom, a San Francisco federal judge ruled on Tuesday. . .

In her ruling, Judge Kim said that Lopez’s prolonged detention was no longer justified. The fact that Lopez completed the first phase of an alcohol rehabilitation plan while in immigration detention, and submitted a detailed plan for further treatment if released, showed a “material change” in his circumstances that warrants a new chance for release, she wrote.


“Clients feel empowered by the people there,” said Lizzie Davis, a staff attorney with Deportation Defense & Legal Advocacy Program of Dolores Street Community Services in San Francisco. “A lot of immigration processes and procedures are incredibly isolating, especially for detained clients. Seeing supportive faces has a huge impact on them.”

Judges get the message as well, she and other attorneys said.

“To win bond, you have to demonstrate that you are not a danger to the community,” said Alejandra Rosero, another attorney at the legal nonprofit. “When the community shows up at hearings, it creates a huge impact that judges see.”


Supporters of a Richmond man who has been jailed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for more than a year and a half rallied Friday outside the U.S. Federal Building ahead of a hearing to seek his release.

Attorneys for Raul Lopez, 46, have petitioned his case to the Federal District Court, in hopes of ending his detention.


Friday, December 14, 2018



Hearing Set For December 21, 2018 at 11AM

Daniel Werner, Dolores Street Community Services

Phone: 415-282-6209 x *156

Juan Prieto, California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance

Phone: 510-414-0953

Lourdes Barraza, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity

Phone: 408-508-9362

San Francisco, CA— Attorneys with the Deportation Defense and Legal Advocacy Program of Dolores Street Community Services (“Dolores Street”) announced the filing of a temporary restraining order in the habeas corpus petition of Raul Lopez Reyes, to request his immediate release from detention. The federal magistrate judge has set a hearing on Raul’s urgent request for December 21, 2018 at 11:00 AM at 450 Golden Gate Ave, Courtroom C, 15th Floor.

Dolores Street has been working closely on this case with the California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance (CIYJA), the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity (IM4HI), and the Contra Costa Immigrant Rights Alliance (CCIRA), organizations that have brought Raul’s case to the attention of the public and highlighted the impact of the immigration detention system on our communities.

This year, ICE shocked the conscience of the nation by streamlining the separation of thousands of children and families at the border until a federal district court put a stop to it. Less national attention was given to the children already in the country, including many U.S. citizens, who continue to be separated by their parents through ICE’s unchecked immigration detention system. This holiday season, at a time when many of us are coming together to spend time with our families and love ones, there are families like Raul's family that remain separated by a cruel and unjust immigration system.

Raul, who has lived in the country for nearly three decades, has been separated from his family since March 22, 2017. This June, his brave U.S. citizen daughter protested this injustice by celebrating her quinceñeara outside a local detention facility in Richmond, CA. Instead of releasing Raul, less than two weeks later, ICE transferred him thousands of miles away to Colorado, away from his family, and in tension with ICE’s own policies. Such transfers routinely occur with no public transparency. Since that time, ICE has continued to refuse to return Raul and has also denied his request for a bond hearing, despite the fact that his case – which has already lasted over a decade – has recently been remanded from the Ninth Circuit and could continue to drag on for years.  

“This case exemplifies why the Constitution provides the right to habeas corpus to challenge unlawful government detention in court. Raul has been separated from his family for close to two years,” said Daniel Werner, one of Raul’s attorneys at Dolores Street. “This separation of families has persisted for far too long in our country. The government cannot simply lock people up in violation of their rights or move them away from their families and communities in an apparent retaliation for political activism. That’s why we’re going to court.”

For more information on how to support Raul visit the #FreeRaul facebook page: https://bit.ly/2LgaLvz and check out this video, produced by CIYJA, highlighting Raul’s case: https://bit.ly/2QI9AtQ


In honor of Father’s Day and in solidarity to thousands of detained immigrant fathers who have been ripped away from their children as they fight their deportation, Dolores Street Community Services joined forces with the Bay Area Immigration Bond FundFreedom for Immigrants, and the Bay Area Sanctuary Neighborhoods to launch the campaign #FreeOurFathers to bring fathers back to their children for Father’s Day.

Thanks to #FreeOurFathers and the support and resilience of the community, Jose— an immigrant father who has lived in the Bay Area for more than 20 years – regained his freedom and is back with his nine-year old daughter.


The Interfaith Movement has played a big role in organizing rallies and providing support for detained undocumented immigrants. At present, it is highlighting [Dolores Street client] Raul Lopez, a Guatemalan national who has lived in the United States for decades and has been separated from his wife and four children for more than a year.

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At a March 13 telebriefing organized by Ethnic Media Services of San Francisco, Sally Kinoshita of the Immigration Legal Resource Center said it is possible that DACA recipients have options under immigration law that could help some people get access to green cards. “According to a recent study, the estimates are that about 20 to 25 percent of the undocumented population is eligible for one of the existing immigration options,” Kinoshita said.

Mission Local, ICE Raid False Alarms Throw SF Mission Community Into Panic
(Jan. 24, 2018)

 . .  .John O’Connell High School locked its doors and posted security outside, according to a source.

But the rumors turned out to be false alarms. Members of the San Francisco Rapid Response Network, a coalition of advocacy organizations, visited the sites and verified that immigration agents were not making arrests. The 24-hour hotline for suspected raids in San Francisco is 415-200-1548.  

. . . “If you’re unsure then call the hotline to verify, and they will verify,” [Ana Herrera of Dolores Street] said. “That’s what we’re here to do. Don’t spread rumors just because you hear it from someone second hand.”


Contact: Ana Herrera, Dolores St. Community Services: 415-857-1935

The FREE SF Coalition -- including Asian Law Caucus, California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance, CARECEN-SF, Causa Justa::Just Cause, Community United Against Violence, CA Immigrant Policy Center, Dolores Street Community Services, Faith in Action Bay Area, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, Legal Services for Children, Pangea Legal Services, SEIU USWW, and WRSF Labor Center -- issued the following statement today:

ICE's recent threats fit into a long pattern of manipulation, fear-mongering, and retaliation.  

But no amount of bluster and intimidation can obscure the fundamental truth that immigrants are a vital part of our families and communities. 

Cities and states that recognize our common humanity and refuse to help the administration deport millions of our neighbors are on the right side of history. 

Now is the time for all people of conscience to step up and speak out. Together, we must resist and reject the Trump administration's political repression and vulgar racism. 

We will use every tool at our disposal to protect every person who calls California home from federal abuses of power. 

Community organizations have created a series of rapid response hotlines in Northern California. The SF hotline number is 415-200-1548

Teenage Client Freed After ACLU Wins Relief for Immigrant Minors Jailed Without Due Process
(Nov. 30, 2017)

Dolores Street, along with Legal Services for Children and the ACLU secured release from detention for detained juveniles in special hearings pursuant to the ACLU-NC’s case, Saravia v. Sessions (Due Process for Immigrant Youth.

"Kelly Wells, an immigration attorney with Dolores Street Community Services, took on Rafael’s deportation case. But she said she ended up spending a lot of her time pushing jail officials to provide proper medical care." . . .

"Ongoing reports of inadequate care for immigrant detainees in California jails and private prisons prompted several state lawmakers to try to overhaul the state’s role in ICE detention."

"There's a massive pile of deportation cases, and a severe shortage of judges. That leaves some vulnerable people stuck behind bars. . . . 

Because Magaly escaped domestic violence back home, she had a strong case for asylum in the US, says Alejandra Rosero, her immigration attorney, who works for Dolores Street Community Services in San Francisco. But because of Magaly's fake visa, detention center officials refused to release her—and that was just the beginning."

NBC Bay Area, Immigration Advocates File Police Accountability Complaint Following SFPD Deportation Threat
(Jun. 9, 2017)

"Civil rights advocates are calling for swift sanctions against a San Francisco police officer after an NBC Bay Area hidden camera investigation showed the officer threatening to deport a group of minorities.

Friday, the FREE SF Coalition called for Police Chief William Scott to discipline officer Joshua Fry alleging the officer violated San Francisco’s Sanctuary City policy.

'We are deeply disturbed by the recent undercover video that captured an SFPD officer threatening a group of Latino and Asian people with deportation,' the group said in a Statement. 'That an SFPD officer racially profiled and threatened people of color with deportation in perhaps the most well-known sanctuary city is shameful and an affront to our deepest values. Authorities must treat all people fairly, regardless of their background, where they were born, what they look like.' ”

“Mass deportation is against our core values as Americans and San Franciscans,” [San Francisco Public Defender Jeff] Adachi said. “Due process still means something in this country and we are not going to let the federal government ship off our friends and neighbors without a fight.”

Francisco Ugarte, who founded DSCS's Deportation Defense and Legal Advocacy Program, will be the managing attorney of the Public Defender's new Immigration Unit. Our program looks forward to continuing to collaborate with the unit in responding to the overwhelming need for representation in the San Francisco Immigration Court.

"Dennis Herrera, San Francisco’s City Attorney says sanctuary policies make all of the city’s residents safer."

DSCS Client, Eva: "I want to tell all those women who have been violated by those men, yes, we can continue to stand up for ourselves because this will always be a sanctuary city."

"Anyone who sees Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)  activity in San Francisco can call (415) 200-1548 at any time. A call to the hotline initiates a process that includes nonprofits sending their own staff to the scene of the report to verify what happened, remind people of their rights, and if necessary, provide legal support."

" 'We want to let everyone here in San Francisco know that we have a system in place ready to respond, that they’re not alone, and that we’re a sanctuary city that cares about our immigrant population,' [Dolores Street's Marisela] Esparza said."


"It is essential that we prioritize this basic, due-process protection for San Franciscans facing deportation. Not only do they lose when they are deported, San Francisco loses as well."

Op-Ed Authors: Jeff Adachi is the San Francisco Public Defender. Niloufar Khonsari is the executive director of Pangea Legal Services. Ana Herrera is the managing immigration attorney with Dolores Street Community Services. Laura Sanchez is the director of CARACEN Immigration Legal Program.

American Immigration Lawyers Association Interview of the Month
(May 18, 2016)

Ana Camila Herrera, Managing Attorney, Dolores Street Community Services, a member of the San Francisco Immigration Legal Defense Collaborative, shares how renewed funding by the city for the SFILDC will help provide representation to unaccompanied minors and families in immigration court.