Wednesday, October 8, 2014
MALDEF AND NDLON FILE LAWSUIT AGAINST CITY AND POLICE DEPARTMENT OF BALDWIN PARK FOR VIOLATION OF CALIFORNIA TRUST ACT
MALDEF, together with co-counsel from the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) and the Immigrant Rights Clinic at the University of California at Irvine School of Law, today filed a lawsuit, Flores v. City of Baldwin Park, alleging that the Baldwin Park Police Department and the City of Baldwin Park unlawfully imprisoned Sergio Flores at the Baldwin Park Police station, detaining him solely on the basis of an “immigration hold,” in violation of the California TRUST Act.
The TRUST Act (AB 4), which went into effect on January 1, 2014, limits cruel and costly immigration “holds” in local jails. California’s TRUST Act sought to restore trust between police and immigrant communities in the wake of the Secure Communities program - a discredited federal deportation program that has led to the separation of hundreds of thousands of immigrant families. In direct violation of the law, Baldwin Park Police intentionally and illegally detained Mr. Flores, who was arrested for driving without a license and has no criminal history, for several days on the sole basis of an immigration “hold” request. As a result of his unlawful detention, Mr. Flores is now facing the prospect of deportation and separation from his U.S. citizen son.
Additionally, the lawsuit intends to prevent any further wasteful and illegal expenditure of taxpayers’ dollars in detaining individuals on the basis of immigration “holds” alone. The lawsuit alleges that Flores’ unlawful detention shows that Baldwin Park City officials are detaining individuals in violation of the TRUST Act.