ICE detains Salvadoran woman who won civil rights suit against Frederick County

The Baltimore Sun

A Salvadoran woman, who successfully sued Frederick County in 2009 for civil rights violations, has been detained again for deportation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement despite a court order for her to remain in the United States.

Roxana Orellana Santos was detained Tuesday during a routine check-in with immigration officials in Baltimore, according to her attorneys and representatives of CASA de Maryland, a nonprofit that has provided her with legal assistance.

Santos has had to complete the check-ins since Frederick County sheriff’s deputies arrested her 2008 while she was sitting on a curb eating her lunch. Deputies at the time asked to see her identification and arrested her on an outstanding immigration warrant related to her failing to show up to court after having been detained after crossing into the country years before, court records state.

Santos filed a civil rights lawsuit against the county. A court later determined Santos’ Fourth Amendment right to reasonable searches and seizures had been violated by the sheriff’s department and that Frederick County would be liable for those actions.

Santos’s detainment Tuesday came as a shock to activists and her civil rights attorney Jose Perez, who said a judge ordered in 2017 that the immigration officials allow Santos to remain in the United States until the case had been settled. Perez notified ICE officials of the ruling Tuesday but said Santos was not released.

“We will be filing an emergency petition for habeas corpus in the U.S. Federal District Court in Maryland barring Roxana’s removal from the jurisdiction and seeking her immediate release from DHS-ICE custody so she can return to her family,” Perez said.

Santos might miss the Monday mediation hearing in her civil rights suit, which was scheduled to determine the extent of damages and policy changes from Frederick County, Perez said.

Santos submitted a visa application in July, which is pending. Two alternate claims for relief are also pending before the Bureau of Immigration Appeals, according to Kimberley Propeack, a representative for CASA.

Several dozen activists with CASA de Maryland staged a protest outside the federal building at 13 Hopkins Plaza on Tuesday afternoon. Four people were arrested and issued citations for allegedly blocking a roadway.

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