ACLU throws support behind U.S. citizen detained as undocumented immigrant in Miami

By Carrie Bradon | Nov 16, 2018

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MIAMI — The ACLU is representing a man who, despite being a U.S. citizen, was detained in Miami by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents (ICE).

Garland Creedle was made to spend a night in a Miami-Dade County jail in 2017, leading to a recent U.S district court ruling that the plaintiff was in his rights to be suing and alleging that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated, arguing that he was not doing anything that merited arrest without a warrant or probable cause when he was arrested.

Amien Kacou, an immigration attorney with the ACLU, said local governments may be held liable for improper ICE requests for detention.

"The case is limited [to] some degree in the implication it may have but it is still relevant in terms of determining the liability of local governments," Kacou told the Florida Record. "We have ICE on the one hand and Miami-Dade County on the other who were trying to have the case thrown out before going through the procedural steps of discovery."

Kacou said the judge's decision suggested that ICE may have overstepped their statutory authority in their detainment of Creedle.

"The decision essentially says that it is possible for local governments and local jurisdiction to be liable when they choose to carry out ICE's requests that they arrest people and hold them in jail, simply based on the detainer," Kacou said.

Kacou said that the detention of U.S. citizens as undocumented immigrants happens much more often than one might think.

"What we are ultimately asking the judge to rule on the case will reflect on local jurisdiction's authority to effectuate detainers, not just for U.S. citizens but for all people," Kacou said. "The sloppiness of the process is only being magnified in the current administration's desire to accelerate arrests and deportations."

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