St. Paul, MINN. —The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota filed a lawsuit against Anoka County Sheriff’s Department and Coon Rapids Police Department on behalf of Myriam Parada. In July 2017, Parada was unlawfully arrested and jailed after she was the victim of a traffic accident.
After Parada was rear-ended at a red light on July 25, 2017, a Coon Rapids police officer arrested Parada because he was “unable to positively identify her” according to his police report. Parada did provide photo identification, a Mexican Consulate card, which includes her name and address. [See link to photo below]
“I was the victim of a car accident, but instead of helping me, Coon Rapids police just called ICE,” stated Myriam Parada. “No one should fear deportation because they needed help from the police.”
After spending seven hours in an Anoka County jail cell, Parada was transferred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody. Anoka County Jail records show Parada was free to leave on July 25 prior to the arrival of ICE, but the jail did not release her to her family.
In the early morning of July 26, ICE agents handcuffed Parada’s hands and ankles and took her to Sherburne County Jail, an ICE holding facility. Eventually on July 26, ICE informed Parada’s family that she was in custody and that they could pay an immigration bond and get her released from custody.
“Myriam Parada was targeted because she is a Latina immigrant,” stated Teresa Nelson, Legal Director of the ACLU-MN. “She should not have been arrested, and she should not have been held in jail for ICE, she should have been released from custody after she was booked into jail”
ACLU-MN argues in their lawsuit that the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office and the Coon Rapids Police Department unlawfully arrested and jailed Parada because her race and national origin. The officer who arrested Parada did not arrest any of the other individuals he cited for driving without a license in the previous year. Upon her arrest, Parada’s family were told she would be released soon, but instead was transferred to ICE custody. Anoka County did not have the authority to hold Parada in custody for ICE, she should have been released to her family.
Parada is currently in removal proceedings and fighting against her deportation.
Cooperating attorneys in the case include: Alain Baudry and Amanda Cefalu of Kutak Rock LLP along with Ian Bratlie and Teresa Nelson of the ACLU-MN.