ICE added as defendant to Weber State immigration lawsuit

Published: Monday, March 26 2012 6:36 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — The United States government has been added as a defendant to a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of a Weber State University student, whose attorneys allege was unjustifiably and illegally jailed for 39 days after he had posted bail.

The ACLU of Utah and cooperating attorney B. Kent Morgan have filed an amended complaint in the case against Salt Lake County. The complaint alleges Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials and agents are partly responsible for the "unconstitutional and illegally prolonged imprisonment" of 23-year-old Enrique Uroza in the county's jail. The complaint alleges federal agents caused Uroza to be unlawfully deprived of his liberty.

"No matter who you are, your right to be free from indefinite detention without bail or process is firmly enshrined in our Constitution, and that right is a hallmark of our free society," said John Mejia, legal director for ACLU of Utah.

"ICE’s policy and practice of working with local law enforcement agencies to detain people merely to investigate their immigration status has proven again and again to be a real threat to this right.”

Marjorie Cortez

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