Crime

A local man claimed he was wrongfully held in jail on ICE hold. Now the county must pay him.

After being accused of unlawfully holding a resident in jail custody solely due to his immigration status, Canyon County agreed to pay the man $13,000 in a settlement, records show.

The settlement involving Gustavo Carrera-Garcia was paid Dec. 21, according records obtained from the Idaho Counties Risk Management Program, which insures Canyon County. ICRMP insures multiple cities and counties in the state, including Canyon County. Any other terms of the settlement were not disclosed by ICRMP, and the lawsuit filed in federal court has been closed.

Carrera-Garcia was the first of three people to sue the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office after allegedly being wrongfully held on an immigration detainer. His lawsuit alleged that he was booked into the Canyon County jail for misdemeanor driving under the influence on May 25, 2015, and the jail wrongfully refused to release him on bond.

Officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security are also named in the lawsuit.

Two other men have filed similar lawsuits against Canyon County, with the help of attorney Maria Andrade and Immigrant Justice Idaho. Ramon Espinoza Rodriguez and Senobio Padilla-Arredondo filed lawsuits against Canyon County after they claimed the jail refused to release them on bond due to their immigration status.

Both lawsuits allege that Canyon County “is not authorized to make civil arrests for violations of the Immigration and Nationality Act” and does not have the authority to keep a person in custody for immigration detainers alone.

Padilla-Arredondo’s lawsuit was filed in January 2018 and is still pending. Espinoza Rodriguez’s case was filed May 24 and Canyon County has not yet responded to the complaint.

Canyon County in general does not comment on pending litigation. Canyon County spokesman Joe Decker was unavailable for comment Monday when the Statesman called to ask about the county’s insurance with ICRMP.

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