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Daily Journal: Refugee Gains Freedom with O’Melveny’s Help

October 01, 2020

An O’Melveny team’s recent victory in a wrongful detention pro bono case freed Vietnamese refugee Tin Tri Nguyen after 299 days in US Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, this article reported.

Washington, DC partner Laurel Loomis Rimon and San Francisco associates Ben Seelig and Alexander Duran had been advocating for Nguyen’s release since he was detained by ICE following his parole from state prison 10 months ago.

Daily Journal noted that the lawyers’ writ of habeas corpus petition in the Central District of California challenged the unconstitutional length of Nguyen’s detention, noted his increased risk of contracting COVID-19, and pointed to a 2008 Memorandum of Understanding between Vietnam and the US under which refugees like Nguyen who arrived to the US prior to 1995 are shielded from deportation.

“Ultimately, we persuaded the government to agree with our position, which is that the constitution applies to people like Mr. Nguyen,” Seelig said. “[E]ven if he wasn’t born in this country, he still deserves the dignity that comes with those due process rights.”

Daily Journal subscribers can read the full article here.