A recent settlement between U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California (ACLU) has resulted in changes to policies regarding telephone privileges for the roughly 1,000 detainees located in four ICE detention centers in Northern California. This settlement ends the previous restrictions on telephone calls that made it very difficult, if not impossible, for detained immigrants to make outgoing calls and gather information and evidence necessary to fight their deportation charges. Immigrant detainees will now be able to make private telephone calls free of charge. This settlement resolves a class action lawsuit that the ACLU filed against ICE in 2013. Nationwide, about 34,000 immigrants are detained in 250 ICE detention facilities. Until this settlement, many of these detainees simply did not have access to a working telephone, thus making the ability to access legal help and potential relief from detention and deportation extremely difficult. In fact, this lack of telephone access ultimately caused some individuals to simply give up and agree to deportation, even if they potentially had a valid claim for relief. The settlement also lengthens the duration of telephone calls in general, and extends telephone calls to certain nonprofit organizations, consulates, and federal offices from 15 minutes to 60 minutes. ICE also has agreed to install speed dials to certain government offices and legal assistance organizations, as well as allow unhampered, private telephone access to attorneys, families, friends, and others. Individuals who cannot pay for telephone calls are eligible for phone credit or other accommodations that will permit them to make necessary phone calls, as well. The California deportation defense lawyers of Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., know how to help when you or a family members has been detained by ICE. We fight for the rights of detained individuals and immigrants charged with deportation on a daily basis. We have the knowledge and experience that is necessary to success in deportation defense cases. In these cases, we obtain the evidence necessary to support your claims for relief, no matter what the basis may be. We know how the complex U.S. immigration system works. Contact us today to schedule your free evaluation.