SETTLEMENT TO HALT FORCED DEPORTATIONS

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East County News Service

November 6, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – A hearing is set for February 9, 2015 to approve a final settlement in the American Civil Liberties (ACLU) lawsuit to halt forced deportations by the U.S. Border Patrol and Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The ACLU won a class action lawsuit filed in 2013 after demonstrating that officials threatened, lied and intimidated undocumented immigrants, forcing them to sign “voluntary” deportation papers even if they had strong claims to remain in the U.S.

The lawsuit contended that agents and officers engaged in physical abuse, holding immigrants without outside contact, threatening to retaliate against their families and presenting them with false information.

One of the nine plaintiffs was Isadora Lopez-Vanegas, who was arrested with her autistic son and told that if she wouldn’t sign the papers, she would be separated from her son and detained for months, La Prensa reports.

Another plaintiff, Samuel Nava, is now married to a U.S. citizen but agents wrongly told him he could get legal status through his fiancé even after going to Mexico, where the newlyweds are now living.