For US citizens, immigration detention should not be a concern. But the truth is that since 2012, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has detained and released more than 1,480 people after questioning their citizenship claims. In early 2017, 60-year-old Guadalupe Plascencia, a US citizen, wrongfully ended up in ICE detention, and now the San Bernardino and federal governments will pay her a cash settlement.
County authorities first arrested Plascencia for allegedly failing to appear as a witness in a case decades ago. She remained in West Valley Detention Center for one day, and upon her release, ICE agents detained her. Despite explaining that she became a citizen 20 years ago, agents mocked her. When her daughter arrived with a valid passport, the agents released Plascencia, according to ThinkProgress.
With the help of the American Civil Liberties Union, Plascencia was able to fight the government in court. This week, agreements were reached, meaning that San Bernardino County is ordered to pay her $35,000 and the federal government will pay her $20,000.
“The government should be held accountable when it violates people’s rights,” said ACLU Foundation of Southern California Staff Attorney Adrienna Wong. “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.”