Immigration officers allegedly laughed at and “mocked” Abel Tovar Hernandez when he instructed them he was a U.S. citizen.
An American citizen who was turned over to immigration officers after stealing a pair of socks has filed a lawsuit in opposition to Oregon’s Washington County, Northern Oregon Corrections, and the USA authorities.
In keeping with The Oregonian, the civil rights complained was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Portland-based legislation agency Stoel Rives on behalf of Abel Tovar Hernandez.
The criticism broadly accuses the U.S. authorities, Washington County, and a state jail of false arrest, false imprisonment, and violations of Tovar Hernandez’s Fourth and Fourteenth Modification rights.
Tovar Hernandez, notes The Oregonian, was born in Mexico however turned a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2000.
Tovar Hernandez, provides OPB, was homeless early final 12 months when he was arrested for a probation violation: stealing a pair of socks from a TJ Maxx.
Whereas Tovar Hernandez solely needed to serve a brief sentence for his probation violation, he was rapidly remanded to the custody of United States immigration officers.
After taking him into custody, immigration officers allegedly “mocked” Tovar Hernandez when he insisted that he was a U.S. citizen.
They then took him to the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Amenities in The Dalles, OR, the place he was saved behind bars for 2 days. In keeping with Tovar Hernandez’s attorneys, he suffered “nervousness, fearfulness, fear [and] melancholy” earlier than a lawyer helped him win his launch.
“This can be a clear case the place legislation enforcement, each on the native degree and on the federal degree, focused Mr. Tovar Hernandez due to the colour of his pores and skin, and that merely isn’t proper,” stated ACLU-Oregon government director Sandy Chung.
The ACLU’s state-level authorized director, Kelly Simon, additional stated that Tovar Hernandez doubtless wouldn’t have been handed over to immigration officers if he had been White.
“Washington County, ICE, and NORCOR tried to illegally sweep Mr. Tovar Hernandez into the deportation and detention machine that silently disappears too many Oregonians,” Simon stated. “We refuse to let these inhumane programs get rid of our family and friends.”
Stoel Rives lawyer Amy Edwards issued an analogous assertion, saying that Tovar Hernandez was detained just because he match officers’ expectation of what an undocumented immigrant ought to seem like.
“What occurred to Abel shouldn’t occur to anybody on this nation — the USA Structure explicitly forbids it,” Edwards stated. “It’s previous time for Washington County, ICE and NORCOR to be held accountable for illegally detaining folks as a consequence of their officers’ assumptions primarily based on an individual’s household title and the colour of their pores and skin.”
OPB notes that Oregon has a long-standing “sanctuary” legislation that prohibits legislation enforcement from arresting folks for his or her immigration standing.
Earlier this 12 months, lawmakers handed the Sanctuary Promise Act, which enhanced present sanctuary legal guidelines by prohibiting native legislation enforcement and state-level companies from sharing immigration info with federal immigration authorities, or in any other case helping them within the arrest or detention of undocumented individuals who don’t pose a major menace to their group.
The Sanctuary Promise Act additionally permits individuals who have been illegally detained to file a lawsuit in opposition to legislation enforcement or every other state-level companies which violate its provisions.