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ICE Arrests, Detains Another American Citizen - Are You Next?

May 26, 2017 (1 min read)

Paloma Esquivel and James Queally, Los Angeles Times, May 26, 2017 - "[A]s she tried to leave the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, Plascencia said she was met by immigration enforcement agents, handcuffed and placed in the back of a van. Plascencia would spend the rest of the day in ICE custody, fearful that she would be deported despite becoming an American citizen some 20 years ago, following an amnesty program initiated by President Ronald Reagan. “I felt helpless, like I was no one,” she said in a recent interview. “Here, they talk about rights … in that moment, I realized, we don’t have rights.” Plascencia was eventually released after her daughter showed ICE agents her passport. But now she has taken the first step toward filing a lawsuit against the federal immigration agency and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department in a case that raises issues of how an American citizen wound up in the custody of immigration enforcement agents. It’s unclear how many hours Plascencia was detained by federal authorities, but she insists she repeatedly asserted her citizenship to deputies and ICE agents. She also says she presented a valid California driver’s license when she was arrested. ... While in ICE custody, Plascencia said she feared she would be deported, and claims agents were verbally abusive to her. “You’re no one, until your situation is cleared up,” Plascencia claims she was told by an ICE agent."