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November 5, 2014

U.S. Man Held in New York Detention for Over Three Years is Suing ICE
By Rebecca S. Myles

Davino Watson was held in a New York detention center awaiting deportation orders for over three years. What makes his detention extraordinary and outrageous is Watson is an American citizen. Watson became a naturalized citizen in 2002, and is suing the U.S. government and a handful of immigration officers in Brooklyn federal court, claiming he was unlawfully detained in the Buffalo Detention Center. In his lawsuit, he said officials ignored his repeated claims about his immigration status, and an investigation into his background would have affirmed his claim. Watson pleaded guilty in 2007 to selling cocaine and served an eight-month sentence, but a detainer request triggered his transfer from a New York correctional facility to the immigration detention center. "We are all at risk if this can happen," Mark Flessner, one of Watson's attorneys, told Reuters. "If there isn't a procedure that allows citizens to be immediately released without any kind of due process, it just points to the broken system."

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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