Media Contact

Ariana Schechter, 603-227-6679,

January 15, 2019

CONCORD, N.H. - This afternoon, Victor Gonzalez-Triana was freed from ICE custody, nearly 24 hours after the ACLU of New Hampshire filed an emergency lawsuit demanding his immediate release.

Yesterday, the ACLU announced the lawsuit after learning that Gonzalez-Triana, an immigrant from Cuba, had not yet been released despite becoming a permanent resident and having his deportation proceedings dropped. He spent five days needlessly behind bars.

“Cases like this are exactly why we formed the New Hampshire Immigrants’ Rights Project: so that we can immediately act when something is unconstitutional, unlawful, or unconscionable within our immigration system,” said Devon Chaffee, Executive Director of the ACLU of New Hampshire. “We are pleased that Mr. Gonzalez-Triana has been released from custody after far too long, and is now reunited with his loved ones.”

“Last night while I ate dinner with my family, our client remained unlawfully in jail—despite being a permanent resident of the United States,” said Gilles Bissonnette, Legal Director of the ACLU of New Hampshire. “It is incomprehensible that ICE would continue to hold a person for even a few hours knowing that they have a right to be released. Now that he has been freed, our client can reunite with his family and get back to his life.”

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 detained by ICE in September 2018 for falling out of immigration status, and while detained he applied and was approved for permanent residency. He was granted permanent residency on January 2, 2019 and received his “green card” in the mail on January 14. Despite an immigration judge’s ruling on January 10 that all deportation proceedings would be dropped, Gonzalez-Triana was still being held until his release this morning.

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 previous press release and legal petition can be found here.