US citizens held by ICE

This post is an ongoing roundup of stories about US citizens who are held by ICE. Since 2008, more than 1,480 US citizens were released after being wrongfully held by ICE. This post seeks to round up significant stories on this subject matter.

US citizen held by Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and ICE for deportation to Jamaica

December 4, 2018 The Washington Post reported on the story of Peter Sean Brown, a US citizen born in Philadelphia. Mr Brown, went to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office to turn himself in regarding an accused probation violation involving a positive test for cannabis. During book-in an FBI criminal background check reached ICE. The following day, based on “biometric information,” ICE issued a detainer indicating that Mr. Brown was to be deported to Jamacia. The ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the law firm of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher filed a suite in the US District Court of Southern Florida accusing Monroe County Sheriff Richard A. Ramsay of violating the Fourth Amendment by unlawfully arresting and detaining a US citizen and for violating Florida law guarantees the right to be free from false imprisonment.

Video of Mr. Brown via ACLU.

US Citizen of 20 Years held by ICE in San Bernardino County, CA.

October 26, 2018 The ACLU of Southern California reports that through collaborations between San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and ICE, on March 29, 2017, a US citizen of 20 years was wrongfully arrested, detained,  mocked, and threatened with deportation due to alleged suspicions of unlawful immigration status. Though SBC Sheriffs had the individual’s California driver license and other documents confirming the individual’s legal immigration status, SBC Sheriffs contacted ICE who apprehended and detained the US citizen. After a lawsuit filed by the ACLU, ICE and San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department were forced to pay the victim $20,000 and $35,000 respectively. It is certainly a vindication to see the victim able to win some financial restitution for their hardship. However, it is difficult to see the overzealous enforcement efforts on the part of the San Bernardino County Sheriffs and ICE as anything but racial profiling, leading to a waste of money, that resulted in nothing more than the harassment of a lawful US citizen who happens to be Latina.

Interestingly, CityLab, using TRAC data, shows that in FY 2018 San Bernardino County had the highest number of ICE community arrests in the whole nation.

ICE held US citizen more than than three years

Map by L.A. Times Graphics based on data spanning 2008-2018 from the US Department of Justice

September 17, 2018 The Los Angeles Times reports a major story describing the account of several US citizens detained by ICE. Among the more shockingly egregious reports is the wrongful detention of Davino Watson who was held in ICE detention for more than three years.

Cato Study of US citizens in Travis County TX served detainers by ICE

August 29, 2018, David Bier of the Cato institute writes “Data from Travis County, Texas, show that ICE targets large numbers of U.S. citizens. From October 2005 to August 2017, 814 targets of ICE detainers in Travis County-3.3 percent of all requests-claimed U.S. citizenship and presented officers with a Social Security number (SSN). ” Based on this 3.3% error rate, Bier estimates that between 2006-2017, ICE may have wrongfully placed detainers on 3,506 US citizens in Texas alone.

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