The California city of Laguna Beach will have to pay $18,750 to Edgar Torres, a young man covered by the Deferred Action Program (DACA) who was detained by local police to wait for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
This was announced Wednesday in a statement by the University of California, Irvine (UCI), one of the young man’s legal representatives in this case of violation of migrants’ rights.
According to that academic institution, Torres was “improperly” detained in June 2018 by the Laguna Beach Police for 15 hours while waiting for ICE agents, a situation that violates a California state law restricting the cooperation of local authorities with immigration authorities.
“We are very happy that Edgar can close this chapter of his life. Laguna Beach Police should not have been helping ICE deport DACA beneficiaries,” said Annie Lai, director of the ICU’s Immigrant Rights Program.
As a result of the damage caused, the city of Laguna Beach has agreed to pay $18,750 to Torres, now a student at Orange Coast University in Costa Mesa, also in California.
“When the cop told me I wouldn’t be able to go home, I was afraid. I also felt betrayed. I take responsibility for the actions that led to my arrest, but I didn’t deserve to be treated differently from other residents who trusted the authorities,” Torres said in the statement.
The young man was first arrested on suspicion of driving his car under the influence of alcohol, a charge he later pleaded guilty to.
However, the defense, which also included the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), alleged that holding him to wait for immigration authorities violated the aforementioned state law and his right to due process.