LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A citizen of the United States who was unlawfully detained by federal immigration officials has won a settlement against the agency, the American Civil Liberties Union said Wednesday.
Sergio Carrillo of Rialto will received $20,000 for his ordeal involving his July 2016 arrest and detainment by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Carrillo was taken into custody outside a Home Depot where he had gone to shop; he works as a contractor and landscaper. Agents ignored Carrillo’s repeated claims that he was a citizen of the U.S., and he was taken to the ICE processing center in Adelanto, where he was held for three days.
“At the time, ICE broke with its own policy that states a claim of citizenship by an arrestee must be promptly investigated,” said Jennie Pasquarella of the ACLU. “Instead, they ignored Carrillo’s pleas to check his citizenship status.”
“This is every immigrant’s nightmare, even if they have citizenship,” Pasquarella said.
Carrillo was born in Mexico and has been a U.S. citizen for more than 20 years. One of his attorneys said he was arrested because his name didn’t appear in immigration databases.
According to the L.A. Times, ICE “has wrongly identified at least 2,840 United States citizens as possibly eligible for deportation, and at least 214 of them were taken into custody for some period of time.”
The lawsuit was brought on behalf of Carrillo by the ACLU of Southern California and law firm Perkins Coie.