Feds abandon deportation case after ICE’s Columbus traffic stop was challenged – News – The Columbus Dispatch – tech2.org

Feds abandon deportation case after ICE’s Columbus traffic stop was challenged – News – The Columbus Dispatch


Earl Rinehart The Columbus Dispatch @esrinehart

Zenón Natividad Cruz was driving with his wife to work early on the morning of February 5, 2016, when the interior of his vehicle was illuminated with flashing blue lights.

A police officer was arresting them. Natividad Cruz could not think of what he had done wrong. Whatever it was, he was not going to argue: he and his wife had come illegally to the United States 20 years earlier.

What followed was 18 days in jail and months for fear of being deported by an immigration court judge in Cleveland, which has happened in two-thirds of the "deportation" cases that were heard there.

But the native of Mexico, now 47, was the third who had not been expelled from the country and separated from his family. at least not yet.

The officer did not say he was a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent or why he stopped them. And Natividad Cruz did not ask.

The couple gave the official international identity cards. He asked for more identification, and Natividad Cruz handed over his Mexican identification card. I did not have a driver's license.

After the officer went to his SUV and returned, he allowed the couple to leave. He told them to be careful, according to a court document.

Ten minutes later, the agent, with backup agents, showed up at the McDonald's German Village where the couple worked and took Natividad Cruz into custody as a "deportable / inadmissible" foreigner. "

The American Civil Liberties Union has sued several federal immigration agencies alleging arrests and illegal arrests in the last decade, local lawyers said it is difficult to quantify traffic arrests because many immigrants do not seek legal representation for challenge arrests.

In the federal fiscal year of 2017, which ended Sept. 30, 154 of the 235 cases heard in Cleveland ended with the person deported, voluntarily or by court order, in accordance with the annual follow-up of the Syracuse University of National Immigration Data

Mexicans have the lowest rate of legal representation in an immigration court: about half Chinese immigrants have the highest rate, 90 percent, according to the Syracuse study

Natividad Cruz's three children, now in their 20s, signed up for Deferred Action for the In Fancia, the federal program that allows children of undocumented immigrants to work and go to school. That meant they already had a lawyer who could help their father.

"We knew what was happening," attorney Jessica Rodriguez Bell said about incorrect traffic stops. In many cases, undocumented immigrants do not protest because they do not know their rights, he said.

Rodriguez Bell persuaded a judge to release Natividad Cruz from jail on bail, and she prepared to challenge the arrest. [19659003] ICE relied on a previous DUI conviction resulting from a traffic accident as a sufficient reason to detain Natividad Cruz. A report from the US Department of Homeland Security UU He said he was arrested because he agreed with the description of a "criminal alien" pursued by a Fugitive Operations Team.

Rodríguez Bell argued that the agent arrested Natividad Cruz just because of his ethnic origin. The agent also had no authority to stop the traffic. He filed a motion to suppress all evidence against his client.

On October 30, Judge Thomas W. Janas of the Immigration Court of Cleveland said he would hear arguments on the motion.

"The immigration officer had no other reason than what he could see, the Hispanic appearance of the interviewee, to arrest the defendant," Janas wrote as the basis for his decision. "The race alone does not provide a reasonable suspicion for an immigration officer to stop a vehicle."

Rodriguez Bell was prepared to question ICE officers under oath at the traffic stop hearing. However, Homeland Security, which oversees ICE, asked the court to dismiss the deportation procedure.

Internal Security officials and ICE did not respond to requests for interviews.

Natividad Cruz, speaking through interpreter Cristina Sánchez, was careful not to gloat during an interview at Rodriguez Bell's office in Worthington. He realizes that his future remains uncertain.

Speaking through Sanchez, he said he drives the speed limit.

"It is one step away" from being deported, Rodríguez Bell added.

Natividad Cruz said he spends more time at home, flying under the radar of law enforcement.

Under President Donald Trump, more local and state law enforcement agencies are working with ICE to supplement their staff to verify immigration status. The "287 (g)" program is part of a 1996 law that had barely been used until this year.

According to ICE records, the Butler County Sheriff's Office is the only Ohio department in the program. It allows jail employees to verify the immigration status of inmates and report the information to immigration officials. Butler Jail is a major detention facility for defendants of federal courts in the state.

East Cleveland has requested to join the program, said a police officer. When asked why, the official, who did not want his name used, said: "That is above my salary and the head of vacations."

The future is also uncertain for the children of Natividad Cruz, who have their own families. Absent the action of Congress, the DACA program that protects from deportation 800,000 undocumented immigrant youth brought to the United States as children will begin to expire on March 5. Nearly 300,000 people could begin losing their protected status in 2018, and more than 320,000 from January to August 2019.

Natividad Cruz did not return to McDonald's work because he feared he could take the police to other Latino workers there. Instead, he took a job as a construction worker.

"Everyone opens the door to the workers here," he said through Sánchez. For those who complain that the cheap labor of illegal immigrants takes jobs away from Americans, he said: "The United States has a lot of work."

Also, if the papers are reversed, he said, American workers would do the same to take care of their families and give their children a future.



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