Somedays you see justice

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I remember back in the early 1990s while in law school and then as a young attorney when I faced off against the U.S. Department of Justice in a case involving an immigration detainee being held indefinitely in a federal prison. The idea, according to the government, was that his detention was not indefinite because “any day” his home country would take him back. Yes, he did break laws in the USA. Yes, he did break serious laws. However, while in prison he did the one thing very few achieve when in prison. He got a college degree in mathematics. Anyone who knows anything knows that if there is any measure of rehabilitation of a criminal then it is the achievement of a college degree. The case is a very long story. I had to proceed administratively through the former Immigration and Naturalization Service. My client lost there because the government felt he complained too much about his immigration detention, which had only been 18 months when I started on the case. Months turned into years and we decided to file a federal lawsuit. The lawsuit was litigated through the U.S. District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals. The government finally conceded the rightness of our cause. My client was released on immigration parole. He could finally take care of his young daughter as his former wife was becoming disabled due to a brain tumor.