Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Speaking of Lawsuits Filed by U.S. Citizens Falsely Imprisoned by ICE......

In response to the post last week about the government's false imprisonment and kidnapping of Esteban Tiznado, a reader posted a comment suggesting lawsuits are in order. Indeed.

Thankfully, people are filing these, and a recent judge magistrate's advisory decision out of North Carolina provides encouragement.
As reported by Paul McEnroe in the Star-Tribune, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and attorneys shuttled Anthony Clarke among various immigration jails for 43 days, even though they had clear evidence of his U.S. citizenship.

Plaintiff Anthony A. Clarke is a citizen of the United States. Notwithstanding that objectively verifiable fact, officer[s] of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") directed the unlawful arrest and detention of plaintiff in immigration custody...
The individuals named as decision-makers in Clarke's arrest and imprisonment are Special Agent Ulrich Palmer Denig, Special Agent Brenner Jennifer Skwira, and ICE Chief Counsel Barry Chait, Deputy Chief Counsel Ann M. Tanke, Assistant Chief Counsel Daniel Pornschloegl, and Assistant Chief Counsel Daniel Hetfield.

In October, 2010, Mark Lyttle, represented by Troutman and Sanders and the ACLU, filed lawsuits in North Carolina and Georgia.

On November 14, 2011, a judge magistrate in North Carolina issued the first substantive ruling, albeit advisory, on the merits of Lyttle's case. The governments motions to dismiss were largely DENIED and, if the federal judge responsible for the final ruling on this matter follows the advisory ruling, Mr. Lyttle should have his day in court.

In a 30-page advisory opinion, U.S. Magistrate Judge William Webb writes in response to the government's Motion to Dismiss due to the discretionary character of duties assigned to those responsible for deporting criminal aliens: "[T]his analysis ignores one crucial fact: these statutes give immigration officials the authority to detain 'aliens', and Plaintiff is not an alien."

Meanwhile, Esteban Tiznado, following ICE agents refusing his plea for an immigration hearing to present evidence of his U.S. citizenship, is penniless, homeless, and desperate in Mexico. Is it really the right policy choice for the government to deport anyone agents unfettered by public or agency scrutiny decides to deport and then dip into taxpayer funds to pay-out the few fortunate enough to make it back and find gutsy lawyers willing to take on a major bureaucracy happy to spend our money to defend its lawbreaking? When is the Department of Justice going to step up to the plate and start charging these agents and attorneys with false imprisonment and kidnapping?

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