RIVERSIDE (CBSLA/AP) — A California woman has filed a lawsuit alleging she was unlawfully detained by local authorities and federal immigration agents despite her protests she was a U.S. citizen.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California said Tuesday that 60-year-old hairstylist Guadalupe Plascencia filed the lawsuit in federal court in Riverside.
The suit alleges that the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department held Plascencia and turned her over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after she went to a police station in March to retrieve property recovered during a car accident.
“Sometimes when I wake up, I have a lot of angry,” she said. “I want to cry. I feel why these people do that to me?”
Plascencia is originally from Mexico and became a U.S. citizen nearly two decades ago.
She says she was released after her daughter brought U.S. agents her passport.
“Nobody let me talk. Nobody let me explain,” she said.”It was like you didn’t have any rights. I felt very, very sad.”
Sheriff’s officials have previously said they arrested Plascencia on a warrant for failing to obey a court order then released her. They say immigration authorities detained her on their own, she was not turned over.
ICE declined to comment.
Plascencia said she doesn’t believe she’s the only one who’s been treated unfairly.
“I want to be the voice for a lot of people who are scared to talk,” she said.
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