Courthouse News recently reported that DHS/ICE is again accused of jailing and deporting a US citizen. This time, the deportee was a resident of Texas who was reportedly born in Louisiana. She was sent “back” to Honduras. She has now taken the US Government to court. Excerpt:
Diane Williams, 35, “a natural-born citizen of the United States,” claims she was arrested in her Houston home on Jan. 18, 2009, by “a Special Agent of the Department of Homeland Security-Immigration and Customs Enforcement (hereinafter ‘ICE’) by the name of Rolando Jimenez, and other unidentified ICE agents.”
Williams says she showed the agents her Louisiana birth certificate, but they arrested her anyway, and accused her of Angelique Bethany Cortez Rodriguez, a citizen of Honduras. She claims the “ICE officers made no attempt whatsoever to verify the plaintiff’s claim to U.S. citizenship,” but took her to the prison run by the Corrections Corporation of America, on a contract with DHS.
The agents did this though she “repeatedly informed the arresting officers that she was a United States citizen and offered the names and contact numbers of several family members who could confirm her identity,” Williams says.
“Plaintiff was told by Officer Rolando Jimenez and Officer Tak Wong that she would be jailed for four years and still deported if she refused to admit that she was ‘Angelique Bethany Cortez Rodriguez, and a citizen of Honduras.” Afraid of spending 4 years in prison, “and in an unstable mental state due to the denial of her medications,” Williams says she signed the statement. Three weeks later she was deported to Honduras.
72 days after her nightmare began, “On March 31, 2009, the U.S. Embassy in Honduras issued plaintiff a U.S. passport after receiving her birth certificate from her family in the United States and investigating to their satisfaction her claim to U.S. citizenship.
“She was given a loan by the U.S. Embassy in Honduras for half of the purchase price of a ticket to the United States (her family paid the other half), and returned legally to the United States through the Miami port of entry on March 31, 2009.
“After returning to the United States Plaintiff has been subject to continuing harassment and abuse by officers acting under the authority of ICE and other government agencies, in spite of demonstrating evidence of her status as a citizen of the United States, including the continued existence of an immigration warrant encouraging her arrest by any law enforcement agency in the United States.” (Parentheses in complaint.) Williams seeks damages from the United States of America for negligence, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, malicious prosecution, abuse of process, assault and malpractice. She is represented by Lawrence Rushton of Bellaire, Texas.
Continue reading U.S. Jailed, Abused & Deported Citizen to More Abuse in Honduras.