News & Commentary written by Manuel Ortega Melendres

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Manuel Ortega Melendres


Manuel Ortega Melendres is a legal visitor to the United States who possessed a valid visa. On September 26, 2007, he was a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped by officers from the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office in Cave Creek, Arizona. MCSO was conducting an operation targeted at day laborers. Although the officer who stopped him claimed that the reason he pulled the vehicle over was because the driver was speeding, the driver, who was a Caucasian male, was not given a citation or taken into custody. The officer instead asked Mr. Ortega and the other Latino passengers to produce identification. Though Mr. Ortega provided identification, he was nonetheless arrested. Mr. Ortega spent four hours in a cell in the county jail. Eventually he was taken to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official, who confirmed that he had proper documentation to be in the United States. After an hours-long ordeal, Mr. Ortega was released.