SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A federal judge in San Francisco said Monday he is inclined to order a full bond hearing, to be held within 45 days, for a Mexican citizen from Santa Rosa who has been in immigration detention for more than one year.
U.S. District Judge William Orrick said at the close of a hearing in the case of Yazmin Elias Obregon that he will issue a written order soon.
Obregon, 34, came to Santa Rosa from Mexico at the age of 4, graduated from high school in Santa Rosa and is the mother of three teenagers who are U.S. citizens.
She was taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on Feb. 28, 2016, soon after she completed a three-month residential rehabilitation program for her previous alcohol use.
She is being held in the Contra Costa County West County Detention Center in Richmond. The county contracts with the U.S. Marshals Service to house federal detainees.
Obregon is now facing deportation proceedings. An immigration judge denied her release on bond while awaiting those proceedings, and she is now asking the federal court to step in and either order immigration officials to free her on bond or order a renewed bond hearing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Neill Tseng argued that two previous convictions for driving under the influence indicate that Obregon would be dangerous if released on bond.
Obregon’s attorney, Etan Newman, contended she no longer drinks and is entitled to release on bond. He has said in court papers that she turned to alcohol as self-medication during 20 years of abuse by the father of her children and another former partner, but is no longer in an abusive situation and has been rehabilitated.
Obregon previously had part of a bond hearing before an immigration judge on Nov. 10, 2016. The hearing, however, was cut short when the judge told her she had to chose between waiting in custody until Dec. 13 to complete the hearing, or agree to allow him to make an immediate decision on the basis of the hearing thus far.
Hoping to be released, Obregon opted for an immediate decision and the immigration judge then denied her release on bond.
About 40 supporters of Obregon held a rally outside the Federal Building before the hearing and then attended the hearing in Orrick’s courtroom.
© Copyright 2017 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.