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Memphis journalist detained on immigration charge denied bond

Manuel Duran

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Spanish-language reporter arrested on a deportation order in Memphis last year will remain in ICE custody in Louisiana after a judge denied bond Thursday.

Manuel Duran, who reported for Noticias Memphis, has been in detention for nine months. He was detained during an immigration protest in front of the city’s Criminal Justice Center.

Gracie Willis, staff attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center, said the group was disappointed with the judge’s denial.

“The prolonged detention of a journalist who has been granted a stay of removal by a higher court is unjust, unreasonable, and a waste of resources,” Willis said in a statement.

“ICE has the discretion to release Manuel, but to date has denied every request. We are heartbroken that Mr. Duran will continue to be separated from his family and community despite his strong claims for asylum. This decision further underscores the injustice of our immigration and asylum system.”

When Duran was arrested, he still had a pending deportation order from 2007. He entered the country illegally in 2006 and was told to appear in court the following year. When he didn’t, that deportation order was issued. His lawyers have said that he did not receive notice to report to court before the deportation order was issued.

Charges related to the protest were dropped but he was handed over to immigration officials and detained.

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