A US citizen who was wrongly detained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service (ICE) sued Pierce County authorities on Wednesday, in the state of Washington, for violating his civil rights and illegally imprisoning him.
Carlos Ríos, who has been a naturalized citizen of the United States for more than two decades, was arrested in 2019 by the Pierce County Police for a misdemeanor, but a day later the charges were dropped and, under state and federal law, he should have been released.
However, Pierce County jail officials continued to hold Rios despite having neither probable cause nor a warrant to do so while waiting for ICE agents to take custody of him.
The lawsuit, which also includes the Pierce Jail, alleges that prison guards contacted ICE to notify of the Hispanic’s scheduled release going against Washington state law that specifically prohibits county jails from helping. to ICE agents by providing them with information about releasing a person or holding them in custody for the sole purpose of facilitating their arrest for immigration violations.
In a statement, Ríos said he lost “a lot” because of that arrest.
“I was mistreated, kept in jail and turned over to ICE despite being a US citizen. They made a serious mistake and this type of abuse should not happen,” he said.
For her part, Leila Kang, a lawyer for the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, which has supported Ríos in the case, warned in a statement that “Ríos’s case embodies the harm that can result when local officials detain people with immigration purposes in violation of the Constitution of the United States and the laws of the state of Washington ”.
In September of last year, the government of President Joe Biden agreed to pay $125,000 to end a lawsuit against him in this case.
Ríos was detained by ICE for a week even though he presented his US passport.