ICE wrongfully detained her, Calif. woman claims in lawsuit

The ACLU and a law firm filed a lawsuit this week on behalf of a California woman who was detained by immigration authorities despite being an American citizen for nearly 20 years.

Guadalupe Plascencia, 60, of San Bernardino, was arrested in March on a bench warrant for failing to testify in a 10-year-old court case, the Los Angeles Times reported.

When leaving jail the following day, she was arrested by immigration agents. She spent the rest of the day in custody. After her daughter arrived with her passport, she was released.

On Tuesday she filed a lawsuit alleging that she had been detained without probable cause because of her ethnicity and that her release from the detention center had been deliberately delayed so that immigration agents had time to pick her up.

It is against department policy for sheriff’s officials to contact U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about a detainee’s immigration status, San Bernardino Sherriff Cpl. Ruben Perez told the Times.

An ICE spokeswoman said at the time that the agency would never knowingly take enforcement action against or detain someone if there was evidence indicating the person was a U.S. citizen.