Published on Nov 12, 2012 | Source:
Primer Impacto. Para medir si existe o no discriminación, Andrea Sambuccetti viajó a Arizona y nos tiene los resultados de una atrevida y reveladora prueba de impacto.
Published on Nov 12, 2012 | Source:
Primer Impacto. Para medir si existe o no discriminación, Andrea Sambuccetti viajó a Arizona y nos tiene los resultados de una atrevida y reveladora prueba de impacto.
By NICHOLAS RICCARDI, Associated Press | Source: USNews.com
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio is gearing up for what he expects will be the toughest of his five re-election campaigns.
He is facing a determined effort from immigration rights activists to push him out. A ruling may come any day in a lawsuit that alleges his department violated the civil rights of Hispanics. A second lawsuit filed by the Justice Department is making its way through the courts.
And in TV ads, he doesn't mention the signature issue that helped bring him to national prominence — a sign, people in both parties say, that illegal immigration is losing its potency.
By Griselda Nevárez / VOXXI News Friday, August 3, 2012.
PHOENIX — Testimony wrapped up Thursday in the civil trial against Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his office, who stand accused of systematically discriminating against Latinos through racial profiling.
It is now up to U.S. District Judge Murray Snow to determine whether or not the Sheriff’s office violated the civil rights of five Arizona Hispanics who sued “America’s toughest sheriff.” Snow indicated Thursday that he intends to make the ruling on whether or not intentional discrimination against Latinos exists within the agency and if the policies and practices result in unreasonable search and seizure.
Snow’s final ruling will come after Aug. 16, the day attorneys from both sides are scheduled to turn in their last round of written closing arguments.
The plaintiffs – five Arizona residents who claim they were racially profiled by MCSO deputies and the organization Somos America – are not seeking monetary rewards. Instead, they want the judge to issue an injunction ordering Arpaio’s office to adopt a policy that prohibits racial profiling and defines its meaning.
Judge Snow said Thursday that if he decides to issue an injunction, he will hear from the plaintiffs and the defendants before making a decision.
by Roberto Rodriguez - May. 27, 2012 | Source: AZCentral.com
I pick up the phone at my office at the University of Arizona and learn that I have three recorded messages waiting for me. The first one begins with the caller claiming to be half White and half Native American, addressing me as an "(expletive) Mexican" and a "Raza (expletive)." This while injecting a .357 Magnum into his rant.
The second and third calls are similar. The vitriol is inexplicable and virtually incomprehensible, except for the threats of extreme violence.
As a lifelong writer, receiving vicious hate mail is not new to me, including receiving a registered letter to my house from the Ku Klux Klan. But receiving death threats as a professor -- this is new.
Just the week before those calls, a video was placed on YouTube by right-wing elements, accusing me of being the ringleader of the movement to defend Mexican-American Studies (MAS) from being eliminated by the state, via House Bill 2281. In reality, that six-year effort has primarily been a student-led movement.
Source: Comités de Defensa del Barrio/Tonatierra Blogspot.com
Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
It has come to our attention via reports in the media today that the department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will be opening up an office of community ombudsman to address issues of concern by the public relevant to the scope of law enforcement policies and operations of the agency.
We were also informed this morning that officials of the Justice Department are meeting with community leaders and organizations to discuss the current status of the US Justice Department Letter of Findings regarding the investigation of the office of the Maricopa County Sheriff, J. Arpaio.
The long march in defense of civil rights for All Peoples which began with the dismantling of discriminatory racial profiling practices that benefit the European American "white" constituencies with ethnic preferences in electoral, educational, economic, and legal systems has many chapters, but it begins with the basic recognition of universal Human Dignity and compassion.
The crossing of the Edmund Pettus bridge and the anguish of Bloody Sunday on March 7, 1965 are significant mileposts in this journey, and must be recalled now to contextualize the actions of yet another Sheriff in yet another state, for as Martin Luther King said after Selma in 1967 and before his assassination in 1968: "We have emerged from the era of Civil Rights to the Era of Human Rights."
Reaction to the U.S. Department of Justice racial-profiling lawsuit against the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office:
"We applaud the Department of Justice and Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez for pressing forward with their investigation of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. For too long, rather than fairly enforcing the law, Arpaio has been living above the law ... The Justice Department has gone the extra mile in seeking agreement with Arpaio's department over training procedures, data collection methods, and an outreach to Arizona's Latino community. The sheriff's flat refusal to cooperate with the Department of Justice makes clear he places his ego over the interests of the residents of Maricopa County. Arpaio's tenure in office has been an embarrassment to Arizona, to the country, and to the rule of law. We hope that this lawsuit will ultimately lead to his removal from office."
--Angela M. Kelley, vice president for immigration policy and advocacy at the Center for American Progress, a Washington, D.C., think tank.
"It is very clear a dispute has broken out between the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security, and it's forcing a dilemma for the White House. The DOJ is arriving late to a civil rights crime scene caused in large part by the Department of Homeland Security. Janet Napolitano got Arpaio his immigration badge when she was governor, and rather than correct her mistake as Secretary of DHS, she chose to create more Arpaios by expanding the dangerous 'Secure Communities' (SCOMM) program throughout the country. The case of Joe Arpaio demonstrates Secretary Napolitano's decision to make police 'force multipliers' in the immigration context has multiplied the force of civil rights violations. The DOJ action today will heighten demands on the White House to intervene and suspend Secure Communities."
--Chris Newman, legal director, National Day Laborer Organizing Network.
"We all owe a great deal of gratitude to the civil rights workers of Arizona who have raised their crisis to the fore. Sheriff Arpaio is the best argument against the immigration status quo. His continued stay in office is warning to all of us facing the Arizonification of our towns and an urgent call for federal action. The president's legacy on immigration thus far has been defined by DHS's criminalizing immigrants instead of legalizing them. We hope his stance evolves."
--Pablo Alvarado, executive director, National Day Laborer Organizing Network.
Source: The Associated Press
Federal authorities sued America's self-proclaimed toughest sheriff Thursday, a rare step after months of negotiations failed to yield an agreement to settle allegations that his department racially profiled Latinos in his immigration patrols.
I found last week’s Supreme Court argument in the Arizona immigration case utterly depressing, and I’ve spent the intervening week puzzling over my reaction. It’s not simply that the federal government seems poised to lose: unlike the appeals court, the justices appear likely to find the heart of Arizona’s mean-spirited “attrition through enforcement” statute, S.B. 1070, permissible under federal law.
Poring over the argument transcript and the briefs, what finally came through as most deeply troubling was this: the failure of any participant in the argument, justice or advocate for either side, to affirm the simple humanity of Arizona’s several hundred thousand undocumented residents.
Both facts and logic tell us that this is a varied population. Different reasons, different routes and different times brought these individuals to Arizona. Half the adults among them hold jobs. Many are parents of American-born citizens of the United States. An untold number, while not possessing the right papers, are also not now deportable under our byzantine immigration laws. But whoever they are and whatever their stories, all are now likely to become what Arizona intended them to be when it enacted the law two years ago: hunted.
Editor's note: that America is becoming a "minority-majority nation" is an erroneous, if commonly held, belief, as AlterNet's Joshua Holland explained here.
On the same day the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Arizona v. United States the Washington Postpublished an article featuring Michael Hethmon, general counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute. Hethmon is the lesser-known legal mind behind SB1070, and a variety of other anti-immigrant measures. His legal counterpart, Kris Kobach tends to get the spotlight; however Hethmon didn’t shy away from theWashington Post this week and was frank about his views on the real issues underlying SB1070.
First, Hethmon shared his concerns about demographic shifts taking place in America:
“Immigration is “on track to change the demographic makeup of the entire country. You know, what they call ‘minority-majority,” said Hethmon. ”How many countries have gone through a transition like that — peacefully, carefully? It’s theoretically possible, but we don’t have any examples.”
He then explains how a Supreme Court victory in SB1070 will pave the way for similar laws to be passed in additional states, particularly in the ones where “nativist sentiment” runs high:
“copycat legislation will explode,” Hethmon said. “This is the classic environment for, if you will, sort of nativist-type sentiment. . . . It should explode at the states or — even better — [Congress] will be provoked to take action.”
In the Obama administration's challenge to Arizona's anti-immigrant SB 1070, Department of Justice lawyers avoided arguing that any of the law's provisions, including the requirement that state police check the documents of suspected undocumented immigrants, invite racial profiling. In fact, at the Supreme Court on Wednesday, Chief Justice John Roberts began the case by greeting the Solicitor General Donald Verrilli (and the rest of the country) with: "No part of your argument has to do with racial or ethnic profiling, does it?" To which the lawyer responded, "We're not making any allegation about racial or ethnic profiling in this case." Later when Verrilli tried to make a point about Arizona Latinos who would be affected by the law, he backed away from the point after Justice Antonin Scalia complained that it sounded like racial profiling.
The technocrat lawyer in me might understand this strategy, reasoning that it's too soon to know if Latinos will be targeted by SB 1070 (although there's plenty of evidence already). The cynic in me believes that the Obama administration stayed away from racial profiling allegations because that claim falls too close to home. The framework for SB 1070 mirrors the federal immigration enforcement laws and guess what, ICE engages in racial profiling every day. The immigration historian in me, however, understands that SB 1070 is in fact all about racial profiling given the institutionalized racism under which the law and its copycat statutes across the country have emerged.
By JACQUES BILLEAUD, Associated Press | April 22, 2o12 | Source: Ap.org
PHOENIX (AP) -- An audio recording has surfaced of an Arizona sheriff playing his refusal to cooperate in a racial profiling investigation for laughs at a fundraiser for an anti-illegal immigration group in Texas. He ridicules politicians who sought the probe and displayed contempt toward federal authorities who were - and are still - investigating him on two fronts.
The dismissive comments in 2009 by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio came as the U.S. Justice Department had already launched a civil rights probe of his trademark immigration patrols and the FBI already was examining abuse-of-power allegations for the sheriff's investigations of political foes.
In the September 2009 speech in Houston, Arpaio boasted that he arrested hundreds of illegal immigrants after politicians and federal investigators started to pick apart his patrols. He said he wouldn't cooperate with the inquiry, but said he would tone down the patrols - if he was proven wrong.
"But I'm not. After they went after me, we arrested 500 more just for spite," the self-proclaimed "America's toughest sheriff" said, pausing for laughter and applause.
By Andre Tartar | Source: NYMag.com
Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio has never minced words when it comes to his contempt for the federal government's immigration policy, or its various investigations into civil rights and constitutional abuses by his office. But a recently uncovered 2009 recording of a speech Arpaio gave at a Texans for Immigration Reform meeting in Houston really took things up a notch. To laughs, he spoke of refusing to take part in the federal inquiries and bragged of kicking civil rights investigators out of his office. (In that case, a court order ultimately forced his participation.) Arpaio, who has a fondness for racial profiling as a part of law enforcement, also revealed that "after they went after me, we arrested 500 more just for spite."
When interviewed by the AP, Arpaio defended his remarks by saying that "these are not official, under-oath speeches." But when asked specifically about his "spite" comment, he doubled down. "It was wrong," he replied. "It wasn't 500. It was thousands."
In November 2010, Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, created an armed “immigration posse” to interdict suspects. Its members included Hollywood action-movie figures such as Steven Segal and Lou Ferrigno and a Phoenix man, Wyatt Earp, who was widely reported to be not only the namesake but also the nephew of the iconic Old West gunfighter. This reporting required considerable imagination, since Earp had two nephews, both born in the 1870s, and both long dead. The 21st-century Earp is a retired insurance agent whose strongest connection to the original Earp is that he has portrayed him in a one-man play.
Arpaio’s attempt to link himself to Earp may seem desperate, but it’s not surprising. Arpaio is a master of symbolic politics, manipulating Western iconography to present himself as a lawman who, like Wyatt Earp, would impose his version of justice at all costs. The power of sheriffs, particularly in the parts of the Western United States where they are elected officials, is inextricably tied up in the concept of a popular justice that is not bound by anything so mundane as the law.
by Emily Gersema - Jan. 30, 2012 09:50 PM| The Republic | azcentral.com
A Phoenix commission focused on equality issues has voted 13-0 to call for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to step down, and it wants City Council members to take a stand.
The Phoenix Human Relations Commission approved the resolution Monday at a special meeting. Three members were absent. The commission's resolution was supported by about a dozen residents who came to speak at the meeting, while a handful of others argued the commission had no business holding a vote on the future of an official elected by popular vote.
Commission Chairwoman Diane D'Angelo said she wanted the board to vote on the issue because of the U.S. Department of Justice's recent findings that outline several civil-rights violations by the Sheriff's Office, such as racial profiling and neglected sex-crime investigations. Although the commission is an advisory board to the council, its decisions are non-binding. Council members are concerned the vote could affect the city's jail contract.
Ryan J. Reilly, January 5, 2012 | Source: TalkingPointsMemo.com
You know how when you’re trying to avoid apologizing to someone who’s upset you throw in a qualifier like “sorry you’re upset” or “sorry you feel that way”? That’s the type of classic non-apology that a Justice Department official gave to officials representing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio who were perturbed by the DOJ’s press conference announcing the findings of an investigation into wide-spread civil rights abuses in Arpaio’s office.
Arpaio’s people evidently didn’t get that the DOJ official was trying to be polite. A press release from Arpaio’s office yesterday in conjunction with their letter responding to DOJ called the press conference “a political sideshow that was both unfortunate and misleading and as such, prompted an apology to the Sheriff’s Office by the second in command of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.” A letter from attorneys for Arpaio’s people said that the DOJ official “specifically apologized to us for not being able to control the timing or manner of the announcement of the investigation’s findings.”
Opinions | Dec. 16, 2011 12:00 AM | Source: The Arizona Republic
This is not just about a clownish sheriff riding roughshod on undocumented immigrants.
The Justice Department's investigation into civil- rights violations at the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office contains a stunning series of allegations against Sheriff Joe Arpaio's leadership and raises serious concerns about public safety.
The investigation began during the Bush administration. Despite what supporters of Arpaio say, it does not look like a witch hunt or a politically motivated attack.
The Justice Department found evidence of discrimination, retaliation and human- rights abuses that would violate the First, Fourth and Fourteenth amendments to the Constitution, as well as several federal laws.
"Since roughly 2007, in the course of establishing its immigration enforcement program, MCSO has implemented practices that treat Latinos as if they are all undocumented," a Justice Department report released Thursday says.
For Immediate Release:
December 16, 2011
Contact: Katy Green | B. Loewe
Link to recording of today's call: http://ndlon.org/docs/2011arpaio.mp3
Phoenix, AZ- Yesterday, the United States Department of Justice released a scathing report, confirming the “discriminatory policing practices” that Sheriff Joe Arpaio has used to terrorize the Latino community of Maricopa County for years and prompting the Department of Homeland Security to terminate the Sheriff’s 287(g) agreement and restrict his access to the controversial S-Comm program.
On a press call today, national and local leaders reacted to the reports findings, commending the investigation as a step towards serving the Latino community with the justice they so long deserve.
According to U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), "Sheriff Arpaio believes physical appearance is probable cause to stop and question individuals about their immigration status. Even after a Department of Justice investigation has told him otherwise, he continues to believe there’s no issue here. There’s nothing fair, equal or constitutional about racial profiling. His obsessive, politically motivated assault on Hispanics has destroyed public trust in his office and put innocent lives in danger. Federal law enforcement officials are right to name his failed tenure for what it is, and I hope he takes the honorable route by resigning immediately.”
Source: Comites del Defensa del Barrio (http://cdb-tonatierra.blogspot.com)
FOR VIOLATION OF CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS OF CITIZENS AND NON-CITIZENS PROTECTED BY THE
US CONSTITUTION, THE UNITED NATIONS
UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
UN DECLARATION ON THE RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES
18 U.S.C. § 241
Section 241: Conspiracy against rights
If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured - They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.
18 U.S.C. § 242
Section 242: Deprivation of rights under color of law
Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains, or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use, attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.
Tags: Phoenix, Sheriff Arpaio, Tonatierra, UN, United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Universal Declaration of Human Rights
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Today the Department of Justice concluded its three year investigation into civil rights violations in the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. In response to the detailed report, Pablo Alvarado of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network issued the following response:
“The Department of Justice report formally and forcefully describes a civil and human rights crisis in Maricopa County; one that has moved hundreds of thousands to demonstrate around the globe over the past several years.
It is a ringing indictment of a Sheriff’s office that has 'treated all Latinos as if they were undocumented' and the federal immigration contracts that have made such prejudice possible. It is the most detailed chronicle of the failed end result of the federal programs that make monsters out of local law enforcement.
We have waited three years for federal intervention to restore justice in Maricopa County. Now that the Department of Justice has outlined the symptoms, it is time for the Department of Homeland security to terminate its immigration contracts with the Sheriff as a first step toward a cure.”
The Department of Justice report outlines years of biased policing that created “a chronic culture of disregard for basic legal and constitutional obligations (page 2).”
It goes on to detail that deputies used excessive force against Latinos and built a “wall of distrust between MCSO officers and Maricopa County Latino residents (page 2).”
The report finds, “Since roughly 2007, in the course of establishing its immigration enforcement program, MCSO has implemented practices that treat Latinos as if they are all undocumented, regardless of whether a legitimate factual basis exists to suspect that a person is undocumented (page 6).”
“Sheriff Arpaio has promoted a culture of bias in his organization and clearly communicated to his officers that biased policing would not only be tolerated, but encouraged (page 9).”
The Full Report can be read: http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/spl/mcso.php
by JJ Hensley - Dec. 7, 2011 01:50 PM | Source: The Arizona Republic
Two more elected officials joined the chorus calling for the resignation of Sheriff Joe Arpaio over the botching of sex-crimes cases by his department in 2005.
State Reps. Ruben Gallego and Katie Hobbs, both Phoenix Democrats, held a press conference at the Capitol Wednesday morning to ask that Arpaio step down, two days after U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz, also call for the sheriff to resign.
"We pay for public safety and protection under the law and we expect to get it," Hobbs said. "Justice in Maricopa County has taken a giant step backward thanks to Sheriff Joe Arpaio."
Hobbs said the calls for resignation were not a partisan issue and said voters would have a chance to express themselves in the November election if Arpaio does not step down.
Arpaio said he has no intention of resigning.
The calls for Arpaio's resignation have come in recent days after national media outlets began reporting this week about hundreds of sex-crimes cases the Sheriff's Office mishandled between 2005 and 2007.
Mohamed Ali Muflahi, the first person arrested under Alabama's strict new immigration law, is actually residing in the United States legally, his attorney proved on Monday.
Muflahi, a 24-year-old born in Yemen, was arrested Friday during a drug raid in Etowah County, Alabama, along with two other Yemenis, the Gadsden Times reported last week. According to local Sheriff Todd Entrekin, the three men were taken into custody for obstructing a government operation, and upon processing at the jail, only Muflahi was unable to produce documentation of his legal status.
This is a misdemeanor violation according to the new Alabama immigration law that went into effect late last month, and, Entrekin told the Times last week, the first arrest carried out under the new measures.
But it turns out that Muflahi is not in the U.S. illegally, as some had suggested. His attorney provided documentation of his legal status on Monday, Etowah County officials told the Associated Press.
Passage of comprehensive immigration reform is not imminent and the DREAM Act still does not have a real chance of being approved anytime soon, although we wish.
But there have been some minor yet encouraging victories.
One that has given a sense of real satisfaction to the many who have suffered abuse and discrimination at his hands has to do with the infamous Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The self-proclaimed "America's toughest sheriff" has been ordered to pay Julián and Julio Mora, two Mexican men, $200,000 in a racial profiling case. Arpaio's deputies had detained the pair for three hours after stopping their pickup truck outside a landscaping company in February 2009.
But this time Arpaio's shenanigans carried an expensive price tag for Arizona taxpayers. A federal judge determined there was no probable cause to stop the men and they were entitled to monetary compensation. Chalk one up for the good guys.
Driving, and living, while Black, Brown or Red in Arizona
Article and photo by Brenda Norrell | Copyright Censored News
Photos: Arizona border victims by Brenda Norrell
TUCSON -- When the ACLU released the report, "Driving while Black or Brown," exposing racial profiling by Arizona police, it came as no surprise to Native Americans who live in the state. When hackers exposed the racist e-mails of Arizona police officers last week, it came as no surprise to the Native Americans who are victims of excessive force by Arizona police in bordertowns.
When hackers exposed the fact that off-duty US Marine contract killers are patrolling the Arizona border with assault weapons, stalking migrants, it came as no surprise to human rights organizations in southern Arizona. When hackers exposed the fact that a school cop was reporting the diversity class at a Tucson high school to the Arizona Attorney General, that probably came as a surprise to many students and staff at Santa Rita High School. The district is engaged in an ongoing battle with the State of Arizona to save its ethnic studies programs.
What was a surprise when hackers spilled data from Arizona police files? The surprise was that they got caught. Arizona police, private security officers and white supremacists have carried out their abuse and crimes with impunity in the State of Arizona. The Governor, Arizona State Legislature and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio have fueled the xenophobic attitude towards migrants and all people of color. This trio has attempted to create rule by white supremacists in a state populated by 21 American Indian Nations and diverse peoples and cultures.
"The good old boy" system crashed with the servers of the Fraternal Order of Police websites last week.
While the mainstream media fuels the racism, aiding private prison profiteers to fill their prisons with people of color, the media also paints Sheriff Arpaio as a colorful character, rather than examining the poisonous climate of hate he has injected into the region.
Tags: ACLU, American Indian Nations, Anonymous, AntiSec, Arizona, Arpaio, AZDPS, Hacker, Indigenous, Lulz, MCSO, Native, Navajo, Pueblo, Racial Profiling, White Mountain Apache, Zuni
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An Army veteran who spent more than seven months in an immigration lockup, despite his protestations that he was a naturalized American citizen, has received a $400,000 settlement and a written apology from the U.S. government.
Rennison Vern Castillo, 33, of Lakewood, Wash., sued officials at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency's Northwest Detention Center, where he was held as a suspected illegal immigrant.
In a letter that was part of the settlement, the U.S. attorney's office in Seattle acknowledged the immigration agency's mistake.
"I believe that none of my clients … would ever have wanted to, or knowingly would have, detained a veteran and United States citizen," wrote Philip H. Lynch, chief of the civil division in the U.S. attorney's office. "We very much regret that you were detained."
The settlement was to be formally announced Thursday.
Castillo was born in Belize and was a child when his mother brought him to this country. He grew up in Los Angeles and become a naturalized citizen in 1998 while in the Army, where he served for seven years.
Internal e-mails obtained by the National Day Laborer Organizing Network show how ICE spokespersons rehearsed phrases that would frame Secure Communities as targeting the most violent illegal immigrants, even as evidence mounted that the majority of those deported through Secure Communities were arrested for a non-violent crime or detained despite having no criminal record.
Launched in 2008, Secure Communities is an information-sharing program through which local law enforcement agencies provide federal immigration officials with access to biometric information such as fingerprints of arrestees. If cross-referencing reveals a suspect is in the United States illegally, immigration officials can issue a detainer and deport the undocumented immigrant.
The Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center allege Secure Communities encourages racial profiling and discourages immigrants from reporting crimes or otherwise cooperating voluntarily with law enforcement.
Among documents released is an undated internal memo titled “Guidance for Handling Sensitive Jurisdictions.” The memo coaches ICE staff to say Secure Communities “focuses ICE enforcement on the worst of the worst,” emphasizing that the program “does not focus on undocumented aliens who are victims of, or innocent witnesses, to crime.”