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Latino Man Wins $20,000 Settlement After He Was Wrongfully Detained By ICE

John Moore / Getty

Yesterday, a U.S. citizen won a $20,000 settlement because immigration officials mistook him for being undocumented and detained him for three days in 2016.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) represented Sergio Carrillo, a landscaper living in Rialto, Calif., in a lawsuit against the United States of America with claims that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) were watching him days before his detainment at a Home Depot last summer. So why did ICE think he was undocumented even though Carrillo said he was a U.S. citizen? It’s not clear.

This is every immigrant’s nightmare, even if they have citizenship,” attorney Jennie Pasquarella, the ACLU of California’s director of immigrants’ rights, said in a press release statement. “Sergio was arrested and put behind bars because of the absence of any information on him in their databases, which are known to be full of errors.”

According to The Riverside Press-Enterprise, someone called Carrillo as he was walking into the Home Depot. The caller wanted to know Carrillo’s whereabouts, which prompted Carillo to ask who was calling. The person on the other end hung up and Carrillo received a text that asked the same question.

As he exited the store, police and immigration officials detained him.

When I heard Sergio’s story, I was shocked,” said Tyler Anthony, an associate at Perkins Coie representing Carrillo along with the ACLU. “Sergio is a U.S. citizen and ICE had no evidence to think otherwise. It’s saddening to think that anyone is potentially in danger of such treatment, and his story is a reminder that we need to hold the government accountable. I am glad that we were able to do so in Sergio’s case.”

Cleary ICE knew they were in the wrong because they settled this matter out of court.

“I think it’s particularly alarming that they never took any steps to investigate his citizenship,” attorney Jennie Pasquarella, the ACLU of California’s director of immigrants’ rights, told The Press-Enterprise. “He claimed he was a citizen over, and over, and over again and nobody took him seriously.”

H/T: Rialto landscaper, a U.S. citizen, to get $20,000 after ICE agents arrested, detained him

READ: 800 Undocumented Workers Lost Their Jobs At A Chicago Bakery After Immigration Raid

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Artists In San Diego And Tijuana Projected Activist Art Onto Trump's Border Wall Prototypes

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Artists In San Diego And Tijuana Projected Activist Art Onto Trump’s Border Wall Prototypes

Jill Marie Holslin / At The Edges
Video credit: Jorge Nieto

Donald Trump has worked steadily to realize his promise of building a bigger, more enforced wall along every state that borders the U.S. and Mexico. The biggest step in this plan has been the construction of eight border wall prototypes, erected in San Diego and built by contractors from around the country hoping to win government contracts for the project. The prototypes, which are 30 feet by 18 feet big, cost between $300,000 and $500,000 to build.

A group of artists and immigration rights activists from both sides of the border came together to protest the wall by literally shining a light on what it represents.

On the evening of Nov. 18, the group gathered on the Tijuana side of the border and projected light graffiti onto the prototypes. Images included a luchador mask, an outline of the Statue of Liberty accompanied by the words “Refugees Welcome Here” and the phrase “Build Bridges, Not Borders.”

The group, who had mostly never met before the action, is made up of Tijuana-based artist Jill Holslin, artist Andrew Sturm, Tijuana journalist Jorge Nieto and William Johnson and his colleagues from the activist groups Overpass Light Brigade-San Diego and People Over Profits of San Diego. They planned the entire project via Facebook Messenger.

They also projected a video of a ladder going up the walls of the prototypes as a means to ridicule the hundreds of thousands of dollars that it will cost taxpayers to make something Holslin says can easily be defeated by a $50 ladder.

“The federal government raves about the marvels of border security technology to protect us,” adds Holslin. “This massive investment in military technology protects no one but the defense contractors and their shareholders. ”

By mocking the prototypes, Holslin says the group sees an opportunity to “demystify and deflate the rhetoric of power that tyrants like Trump use to cast a spell on the public.” And for the group, creating art that injects “a laugh, fart or inappropriate comment” into a serious issue serves to disrupt their power.

“That’s why Trump has used violence to throw out the protesters from his events, because they make him look stupid,” says Holslin. “So we wanted to do the same thing with the prototypes. They are absurd, and we wanted to make them look like the absurdly stupid things that they are.”

Holslin is planning on doing more art interventions with Sturm and other artists and members of her national organization, Borderlands Campaign of the Sierra Club.

READ: The Border Wall Prototypes Are Up In San Diego. Here’s What That Means

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