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Jeff Joseph Files Federal Lawsuit to Protect Equal Access to Justice for All

April 22, 2014|Contributed by: Jeff D. Joseph, Esq.

On April 22, 2014 the Denver Post published an article, Denver Immigration Lawyers Sue For Access to Federal Court Building, regarding a federal lawsuit, Kolko v. Hale, that Jeff Joseph, Senior Partner of Joseph Law Firm, P.C., filed on behalf of the Colorado Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and their clients who are ordered to appear in immigration court and yet denied entry unless they subject themselves to background checks.

Individuals are ordered to go to court and deported for failure to appear, and yet many (most) do not have ID. The lead plaintiff in the case, David Kolko, attended National Day of Action last week in Washington DC. He visited the offices of the entire Colorado congressional delegation, the Supreme Court Building, and the Capitol. He was not asked for ID one time. Yet, despite the fact that he is an officer of the court who regularly appears before the immigration court he is mandated to produce ID? Meanwhile, non-citizens who have no ID, can only access the justice system by voluntarily relinquishing their privacy to undergo an NCIC check to ascertain a criminal history that somehow makes us more safe in immigration court than we were 5 minutes earlier before the check was done? There is simply no rational basis for the ID requirement in the first place and it inhibits the equal access to justice. That is why the federal law suit was filed. No individual should be denied access to justice or intimidated because they try to access a public court hearing.

On April 22, 2014, Jeff Joseph, on behalf of the plaintiffs, settled the Temporary Restraining Order when Federal Protective Services agreed to immediately stop background checks and even ID requirements for anyone accessing immigration court. The remainder of the federal case is pending while a more reasonable means of addressing security issues can be negotiated.