Phoenix immigration lawyer Phyllis Lee, the first of her kind to receive bond from the US government over an immigration case, has left the Phoenix Immigration Law Group.
Ms Lee, who was awarded the US $4.5m bond on Friday, was the first US citizen to receive the bond in the nearly three-year-old case.
She will be able to use the money to pay off her own $7,500 bond.
“I was just blown away when I heard about it,” Ms Lee told the ABC’s The World Today.
“It’s a blessing to be able serve and be part of something like this, and I am excited to go home to my family.”
Ms Lee said she had not had time to reflect on her legal victory but had been heartened by her colleagues’ support and that they were all proud of her efforts.
“My bond is for the best and for everyone’s safety,” she said.
“Our clients will be proud to be part to this bond.” “
Mr Morrison said Ms Lee’s bond was a significant achievement in a legal battle that began when Ms Lee refused to turn over the personal information of an Australian who had been charged with a serious crime in the US. “
Our clients will be proud to be part to this bond.”
Mr Morrison said Ms Lee’s bond was a significant achievement in a legal battle that began when Ms Lee refused to turn over the personal information of an Australian who had been charged with a serious crime in the US.
“In the past year, our legal team has made many improvements to the Phoenix team, and in this case, a key part of that was to offer a new way to serve our clients,” he said.
The $4m US bond will be available to Ms Lee once her bond is paid.
Mr Morrison has been criticised for failing to secure bond for the other five Australians.
One of those Australians is a former US naval officer and former military intelligence officer, who is facing deportation to the Philippines.
His lawyers are challenging his detention in the Philippines, alleging that he is a fugitive.
“As a result of his incarceration, we are currently seeking a judicial review of his detention, and are seeking the immediate release of the detainee,” the lawyers wrote in a court filing last month.
The lawsuit was brought in 2015 by the family of another former US navy officer, Robert Gage, who has been held in a maximum security prison for three years on the same charges.
He was released last week after a US judge granted him a temporary injunction, and Mr Morrison was unable to secure his release.
“Today, after months of hard work, I am pleased to announce that Phyllises bond has been approved,” Mr Morrison wrote in an email.
“With her cooperation and support, we have secured a strong bond in a case that could have easily gone to trial.”
The other five men charged in the case are expected to receive bonds later this month.
“They are very grateful that the Government has decided to award a bond, and that it will allow them to pursue their legal rights,” Ms Kelly said.
She said Ms Kelly’s bond “reflects the efforts of the Phoenix lawyers team to protect the rights of the other Australians held in the Phoenix detention centre.”
“It also represents a significant step towards a fair and impartial resolution of the case.”
The case is one of a number of US immigration cases to go before the High Court, and it is expected to be a high-profile case.
The US Department of Homeland Security said in February that more than half of the 552 people held in Phoenix were in custody for immigration offences.
The Federal Court has been holding hearings on the case since January, but the case is likely to drag on for years.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said he hoped the Federal Court would eventually decide the case in a “fair and impartial manner”.
“We will not rest until all Australians are released from detention, in accordance with our obligations under international law,” he wrote in the Federal Register on Friday.
“We hope that the Federal Courts will soon reach a decision on this matter, and we thank the courts for their diligent work in ensuring that the detention of so many Australians is ended.”
The US Federal Court is expected in early February to rule on the $4bn US bond that Ms Lee received.