May 4, 2023

Munger, Tolles & Olson Files Challenge to CDCR Immigration Referral Practices

Munger, Tolles & Olson and co-counsel have filed a lawsuit on behalf of plaintiffs Roth Chan, Anouthinh “Choy” Pangthong, the Asian Prisoner Support Committee and Root & Rebound against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and Secretary Jeff Macomber. The lawsuit challenges immigration-enforcement practices by CDCR that unlawfully discriminate against hundreds of people in custody each year.

The lawsuit alleges that CDCR’s practice of referring incarcerated people it suspects were born outside of the United States to ICE—even if they are U.S. citizens—has led to the investigation, detention and placement of U.S. citizens and lawful residents into the deportation pipeline based on race, ethnicity, national origin and other protected characteristics, in violation of the California Constitution’s equal protection clause and state anti-discrimination law.

As a result of CDCR’s discriminatory policies and practices, incarcerated individuals have been unlawfully excluded from certain minimum-security housing placements, as well as alternative-to-custody programs and rehabilitative vocational programs that allow participants to earn credits toward reduced time in custody, in violation of the California Constitution and California Values Act.

Learn more about the lawsuit.

The plaintiffs are represented by an MTO team including Jacob Kreilkamp, David Moreshead and Robert Bowen, alongside co-counsel from the ACLU Foundation of Northern California and Asians Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus.

About MTO’s Pro Bono Practice
Contributing to the community through pro bono work and other forms of volunteerism is a core tenet of the culture at Munger, Tolles & Olson. The firm was one of the charter signatories to the American Bar Association’s pro bono challenge and consistently devotes more than three percent of all attorney time to delivering needed pro bono legal assistance. We are proud to be one of the select group of firms to have received the ABA’s coveted Pro Bono Publico Award.

Learn more about our pro bono practice.