CONCORD, N.H. - The ACLU of New Hampshire has filed an emergency lawsuit seeking the immediate release of a New Hampshire permanent resident that is currently being unlawfully detained by ICE. Victor Gonzalez-Triana was detained by ICE in September 2018 for falling out of immigration status, and while detained he applied and was approved for permanent residency. Despite an immigration judge’s ruling on January 10 that all deportation proceedings would be dropped, Mr. Gonzalez-Triana is still being held unlawfully behind bars.
“Holding a permanent resident of the United States in immigration custody for nearly a week is not only unlawful, but unconscionable,” said Gilles Bissonnette, Legal Director of the ACLU of New Hampshire. “After living in the United States for more than two decades, owning a businesses, and making New Hampshire his home, our client is finally a permanent resident of the country he loves. We filed this lawsuit because the law is clear: this man needs to be released.”
Mr. Gonzalez-Triana came to the United States in 1994 from Cuba, where he has since been a business owner and taxpayer in the New Hampshire community. He was granted permanent residency on January 2, 2019 and received his “green card” in the mail on January 14. He is currently being held in an ICE facility in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
“What should be an exciting day for our client—finally receiving his proof of permanent residency—has been marred by the fact that he is still being held by ICE,” said SangYeob Kim, Immigration Legal Fellow at the ACLU of New Hampshire. “We look forward to his release so that he can continue living the life he has built in the United States.”
This lawsuit is part of the New Hampshire Immigrants’ Rights Project, which was founded by the ACLU of New Hampshire in July 2018 to provide immigration legal services and promote the rights of detained immigrants in New Hampshire. The legal petition for this case can be found below.