Vitug v. Mukasey, Amicus Brief, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, HIV and Legal Services Alliance (HALSA)

Pleadings and Briefs

In a case that could have far-reaching impact on the medical care of HIV-positive detainees in U.S. detention centers, HALSA submitted this amicus brief on behalf of Dennis Vitug, a Filipino immigrant. Vitug, who is HIV-positive, sought a withholding of removal, which was denied by the U.S. Board of Immigration Appeals. In the meantime, Vitug was being held in a detention facility where he received suboptimal care for his HIV disease. As stated in the brief, its goal is “to highlight the threat of discrimination and persecution against persons with HIV in detention facilities, specifically relating to the denial of access to HIV medical care and life-saving prescription drugs, as well as the discrimination and lack of medical access that exists for all HIV positive persons in the Philippines.” The information in this brief will be applicable to most cases involving HIV-positive detainees, regardless of where the detainee is in danger of being removed to.