FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — A Maryland mother who sued Frederick County for alleged racial profiling now faces deportation.
Tuesday afternoon, immigrant advocates staged themselves outside the Baltimore ICE Office, demanding she be released back to her family in Maryland.
An attorney representing the woman, Roxana Santos, said she was at the ICE office for what was supposed to be a routine check-in, something she had been doing for years.
Then, without warning, she was detained, sparking an emergency response from immigrant rights advocates, CASA In Action.
The group chanted “The people united shall never be defeated,” one of many as they made their stand Tuesday. The act of protest was in response to the incident hours earlier.
“With no apparent real reason, ICE took her in custody this morning without any advance notice,” said Jose Perez, with Latino Justice, one of the attorneys who has been representing Santos.
Santos, who hails from El Salvador, has been in her legal battle with Frederick County since 2008.
She successfully sued the county for civil rights violations stemming from an arrest in 2008 in which she claims she was racially profiled by deputies while eating lunch.
The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office has an ongoing agreement with ICE to check the immigration status of people arrested.
Immigration rights advocates argue in Santos’ case, the arrest was unconstitutional.
“She was illegally arrested in violation of her fourth amendment rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures,” Perez said.
While her case was ongoing, she had been periodically checking in with the ICE office for years.
After being detained Tuesday, the rally called for the release of the mother of four.
“We call on immigration, we call on the people of this building, the people of Washington D.C., the people who have the authority to release her, to do immediately,” said Nick Katz, an attorney.
Advocates demanded that Santos be allowed to see the outcome of her case as ruled by the courts.
“Roxana, as I mentioned, is a wonderful working mom and she’s here to provide for her family and that’s the only thing she has done wrong,” said advocacy group, Casa In Action.
The protesters were cited for blocking an exit from the building- their hope was to prevent Roxana from being moved from detention here, but they quickly dispersed.