The federal government and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department have agreed to settle with a U.S. citizen who was wrongfully detained and mocked by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for $55,000, the New York Times reports.
Police had alleged that grandmother Guadalupe Plascencia had a “10-year-old outstanding warrant for disobeying an order to appear in court,” and was subsequently turned over to ICE. Plascencia kept trying to tell agents she was a U.S. citizen of two decades, only to be mocked. “Here, you are nobody,” an ICE agent allegedly told her. “You are nothing.”
According to Think Progress, “Plascencia ultimately won her release after her daughter arrived with a valid U.S. passport.” Last December, she rightfully sued, with “the defendants [arguing] that Ms. Plascencia was held based on a detainer that had been issued for someone with a similar name.” Plascencia hasn’t been alone in being wrongfully detained by mass deportation agents.
Remezcla reports “that since 2012, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has detained and released more than 1,480 people after questioning their citizenship claims.” Under the current administration, agents have been unleashed and have gotten only more drastic in their efforts to round up as many immigrants, like Plascencia, as possible. It’s the latest incident from an agency needing drastic oversight, and now.
“The government should be held accountable when it violates people’s rights,” said Adrienna Wong of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). “San Bernardino County residents like Ms. Plascencia have the right to live, work, and raise their families in peace, without fear that ICE may unfairly arrest them without cause.”