A Minneapolis man was arrested and illegally detained for 43 days by federal immigration agents who sought to have him deported even though he is a U.S. citizen, according to a lawsuit filed recently in federal court in Minneapolis.
Federal agents arrested Anthony A. Clarke during a late-night raid in 2008 at his sister's house in Columbia Heights, then shuttled him back and forth between a Sherburne County jail and an unidentified detention facility in South Dakota, the suit says.
The case is thought be the first federal suit of its kind in Minnesota, and it appears to follow a national pattern. A recent study at Northwestern University found thousands of cases in which U.S. citizens were arrested in error and held for deportation. Collectively, they raise disturbing questions about the tactics of immigration agents and the adequacy of checks and balances in a parallel court system overseeing the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.
But FBI records available at the time of Clarke's immigration arrest in 2008 clearly show him to be a U.S. citizen, and documents in his immigration file show that immigration agents were aware of his status the day he was taken into custody.
Clarke, 53, is seeking more than $1 million in damages for false arrest and malicious prosecution.
Monday, November 28, 2011
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports: