Feds appeal decision granting bond hearing to man held in jail 3 years while in deportation proceedings

Feds appeal decision granting bond hearing to man held in jail 3 years while in deportation proceedings

(Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)


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SALT LAKE CITY — Attorneys representing the federal government are appealing a federal judge's order to grant an individualized bond hearing to a Salt Lake man held more than three years in the Utah County Jail as he fights deportation proceedings.

Attorneys representing the Department of Homeland Security are also appealing an immigration judge's decision to grant bond to the same man, Martin Chairez-Castrejon, who is a legal permanent resident.

Chairez's attorney, Skyler Anderson, filed a writ in U.S. District Court in November asking the court to order an individualized bond hearing.

After conducting a hearing on the petition in May, U.S. District Judge Jill Parrish ordered an immigration judge to conduct the hearing.

In late June, Judge David Anderson conducted a half-day hearing and set Chairez's bond at $50,000. Chairez was released from the Utah County Jail on July 8 after his family posted bond.

Department of Justice attorneys have since appealed Parrish's decision to grant the bond hearing, but the agency declined to comment on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals filings, public information officer Nicole Navas said.

Meanwhile, attorneys for Homeland Security have appealed Anderson's decision to grant bond to Chairez and his determination that the government had the burden of proving Chairez's release would pose a danger to the community. That appeal is pending before the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Since his release from jail, Chairez has found a job and legally married his common law wife of more than two decades, according to his attorney. Chairez, who earned his GED while in jail, is also taking classes and volunteering, Skyler Anderson said.

Prior to his release from jail last month, Chairez had been behind bars since early 2013, first to serve a 44-day criminal sentence after pleading no contest to felony discharge of a firearm during a fight in Salt Lake City the previous summer.

Deportation proceedings were initiated after Chairez's criminal conviction for the gun offense.

Martin Chairez-Castrejon walks with his arm around his wife, Lorena Gonzalez, after being released from the Utah County Jail in Spanish Fork on Friday, July 8, 2016. (Photo: Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)
Martin Chairez-Castrejon walks with his arm around his wife, Lorena Gonzalez, after being released from the Utah County Jail in Spanish Fork on Friday, July 8, 2016. (Photo: Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)

As the matter has been fought in immigration court, the Board of Immigration Appeals and federal court, Chairez was held at the Utah County Jail, which has a contract to house detainees in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The federal government spent approximately $87,000 to house Chairez at the Utah County Jail over the past three years, according to the facility's daily incarceration rate of $72.25.

In a related development, Utah County officials announced earlier this week that the jail would be ending its contract with ICE for a number of reasons, but primarily because of overcrowding, officials said.

A DOJ attorney argued in federal court earlier this year that the length of Chairez's detention could be attributed to his multiple appeals and that his detention was permissible under federal statutes.

But Skyler Anderson has argued that his client's detention "became prolonged at the sixth-month mark. … He is now detained subject to the (U.S.) attorney general's discretion."

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