Saturday, March 15, 2008

Lawsuit Filed For ICE Deportation Of Developmentally Disabled United States Citizen

As reported by several newspapers including an article by Paloma Esquivel "Suit filed over disabled U.S. citizen's deportation ordeal" on February 28, 2008 in the Los Angeles Times, a family filed a lawsuit against the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the federal government for wrongly deporting a United States citizen to Rijuana, where he was left with $3 and wandering Mexico until family members found him almost three months later.

Pedro Guzman is developmentally disabled according to his lawyers and pled guity in the US to trespassing. Before his 120 days in the county jail (later cut to 40 days) were completed, sheriff's officials turned him over to ICE who deported him to Tijuana.

Guzman's family is alleging that when arrested, the government had documents showing he was a citizen and that they probably were influenced by preconceived notions about Latinos in deciding that Mr. Guzman was not a US citizen. The government, though, is alleging that Mr. Guzman kept saying he was born in Mexico and agreed to voluntarily "return" to Mexico.

ICE officials have alleged that what they did to Mr. Guzman is an isolated incident.


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