DLA Piper, along with the ACLU of Pennsylvania and Audrey Allen Immigration Law, LLC, represented Jose "Ivan" Noe Nuñez Martinez, a gay Mexican immigrant taken into custody in January and held in detention without bond for more than nine months. Nuñez Martinez was freed on bond on October 24.
Nuñez Martinez fled to the US after the murder of a gay friend in 2001, and in 2016, he married an American citizen. Earlier this year, he was taken into custody at what he and his husband thought was a routine interview with US Citizenship and Immigration Services officials in Philadelphia. He is now seeking withholding of removal to Mexico, where he fears persecution on account of his sexual orientation.
In May, the ACLU of Pennsylvania and a DLA Piper pro bono team filed a federal habeas corpus petition on Nuñez Martinez's behalf after he had been held for nearly four months without a bond hearing. On October 15, a federal district court judge granted the habeas petition and ordered the immigration court to hold a bond hearing. On Wednesday, October 24, Nuñez Martinez was granted the opportunity to post bond and was released from custody.
"We are happy to have played a role in reuniting Ivan with his family and loved ones," said Ilana Eisenstein, a partner in DLA Piper's Philadelphia office and member of the team representing Nuñez Martinez. "He has been under a great deal of stress for the past nine months due to his unnecessary detention, and will now be able to move forward and fight his immigration case at home, with his family by his side."
Along with Eisenstein, the DLA Piper team also included associates Ben Fabens-Lassen and Lauren Wilchek (both of Philadelphia). Witold J. Walczak and Golnaz Fakhimi were counsel for the ACLU of Pennsylvania. Audrey Allen of Audrey Allen Immigration Law, LLC served as immigration counsel.