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Florida county sued for detaining US citizen on immigration request

A lawsuit filed against the Miami-Dade County in Florida and its mayor charges them with violating the 4th Amendment rights of a US citizen, according to a coalition of activists and groups that includes the American Civil Liberties Union.

Garland Creedle, 18, was arrested in Miami-Dade County in March over allegations of a domestic violence dispute. Though he was cleared for release, he was held for 48 hours at the request of federal immigration officials – an act that he says violated his constitutional rights.

Mayor Gimenez caused outrage when he overturned years of county policy and ordered jails to approve all immigration detainer requests, instead of only those for people facing serious charges.

The ACLU alleges the system by which local law enforcement agencies detain immigrants arrested for unrelated causes is illegal. The group also claims that Florida law “prohibits jail officials from detaining people for civil immigration purposes.”

“Our case illustrates how sloppy the system is. It should be obvious that if a US citizen falls in the net, something must be wrong,” ACLU of Florida attorney Amien Kacou told WGCU. “Beyond the question of how sloppy the system is, there is a fundamental problem to do with the lack of legal authority.”

Kacou said Immigration and Customs Law Enforcement (ICE) agents lack a proper statutory mandate to issue detainers under the US Constitution, and under Florida law.

The detainers are “simply requests” and ICE “lacks the authority under the Constitution because there is a separation between matters of national interest and matter of local or state interest, and that cannot be breached without some degree of Congressional intent in general,” Kacou argued.

From January to mid-June, Miami-Dade has turned over 124 detainees to ICE custody, according to the Guardian.