A Mexican national who was detained by U.S. Border Patrol on a bus trip through Spokane in 2017 has sued in federal court, alleging false arrest and violation of a state law protecting against discrimination.
Lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union and the Northwest Immigrant Rights project filed the lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of Andres Sosa Segura, 37, a Skamania County resident who had previously filed a tort claim for $75,000 stemming from the July 2017 incident. Sosa alleges he was profiled as a Latino man and threatened with deportation after being questioned by armed border patrol agents at the Spokane Intermodal Center as he was changing buses on a trip back home from Montana.
Sosa had been released on electronic monitoring pending an immigration detention case prior to the incident and was wearing an ankle bracelet when he was detained.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection have asserted their right to conduct warrantless searches at the bus and train station downtown, citing federal regulations the agency said gives them authority within 100 miles of an international border. Groups including the ACLU argue such regulations do not trump the Constitution and have also advocated on behalf of Portland-based comedian Mohanad Elshieky, who was also detained at the Spokane bus station in January in an incident that made national headlines.
The case, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Eastern Washington, had not been assigned a judge as of Tuesday afternoon.
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