things that matter

ICE Was Allegedly Trying To Deport A U.S. Citizen, And Now They’re Being Sued

John Moore / Getty

Last month, a U.S. citizen named Rony Chávez Aguilar filed a lawsuit against ICE after being held in custody for three weeks while ICE prepared to deport him, reported Fusion.

Chávez Aguilar was born in Guatemala and came to the United States in 1991. His mother became a naturalized citizen in 1999 when he was 14 years old. Aguilar became a citizen in 2001.

Why did ICE detain Aguilar? According to The Daily Beast, ICE believed Aguilar was undocumented. Aguilar was arrested in Kentucky and pleaded guilty to drug charges. He served two weeks in county jail and should have been let go, but instead he was held for an extra two days at the request of the ICE office in Chicago, which covers Kentucky as part of their jurisdiction.

U.S. law prohibits ICE from detaining U.S. citizens, which is why Aguilar is now suing the agency for violating his rights.

“ICE Chicago did not obtain a judicial warrant to arrest Plaintiff; has not provided a sworn, particularized statement of probable cause; has not promptly brought him before a detached and neutral judicial officer for a probable cause hearing; or has not brought him before a judge to understand the charges against him and receive important advisals regarding his due process rights, amongst other procedural protections,” reads the complaint.

Aguilar tried to explain to ICE that they had no business detaining him, but they weren’t having it. “He said, ‘Hey, I’m a citizen,’” Charles Roth, Aguilar’s attorney, told the Daily Beast. According to the lawsuit, Aguilar was not “promptly” or at all brought before a judge to explain his situation.

According to Roth, Aguilar was released soon after the suit was filed on March 27. He and Aguilar are hoping to get class-action approval so that others who languish in detention for weeks can join the suit.

Read more about Aguilar’s situation here.

READ: This App Promises To Help People Alert Others About Ice Raids

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They Supported Trump And Now The Government Could Seize Their Property To Build The Wall

Things That Matter

They Supported Trump And Now The Government Could Seize Their Property To Build The Wall

CNN

Ten years ago, during the George W. Bush administration, the Loop family was forced to give up rights to part of their land so the government could build a wall along the U.S. and Mexico border. “I was very angry,” D’Ann Loop told CNN. “How can they do that? How is that possible in the United States that they can do this? Put up a fence in front of our land and keep us in here?”

After the construction of the wall, the Loop family found themselves on the Mexican side. They were now separated from rest of the United States.

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CNN

The family dealt with this inconvenience as best they could until one night when a fire ripped through their farm. As a result, many of their animals perished in the flames while the fire department struggled to get past the wall to reach the blaze.

Today, Trump supporters in similar situations are expressing their concern that the government may again seize their land to build the wall.

Map - Bell
GOOGLE MAPS / CNN

The word “fight” is common among border-dwelling Trump supporters, who live with the reality that a wall is not the solution. Pat Bell, a Trump supporter, told CNN that she doesn’t believe walls and fences work. Bell lives in Brownsville, Texas, which is just on the opposite side of the U.S.-Mexico border, near Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. If the government had its eyes on her property, Bell says, “I would go to the people that are in charge, and, you hate to say, ‘I would get a lawyer,’ but if it came to that issue, and you had to, you would.”

Many Trump supporting land owners along the border share Bell’s sentiments.

Even if locals resist, the U.S. government can seize land, forcing citizens into legal battles to keep their land.

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CNN

If a land owner doesn’t want to sell their property, the government can use its power of eminent domain to seize privately owned land for public use. In these instances, citizens have few legal options, and they are often “steamrolled” by the government, Norton Colvin, an attorney from Brownsville, told CNN. Those who do receive money, do not receive “fair compensation.” CNN based its findings on research of over “442 lawsuits” from 2006.

So far no residents have been given notice about their land. But as CNN correspondent Drew Griffin told Anderson Cooper, “If history repeats itself, landowners will be forced to sell their property to the government, lose their land, and not be paid what they think that land is worth.”

[H/T] CNN: President Trump vs. American landowners on the border

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