Many Florida residents have experienced times in their lives where people mistook their identities for others. If someone has a strong physical resemblance to another person, for instance, it is easy to understand how this might happen; however, if a person is as much as a whole foot shorter, it is less likely that his or her identity would be confused, even if there are facial similarities. U.S. immigration law officials reportedly made such a mistake, which led to a man’s detention.
The man in question had been living in Florida but was born and raised in another state. Facing other legal problems, he was about to be released from jail after having served his sentence. In a surprising turn of events, rather than being released, the man was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, who claimed that he was an undocumented immigrant and subject to removal.
The man said that immigration officials mocked him because he was a man of color from Philadelphia, similar to a character on a TV show from long ago called, “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.” The man also said he filed complaints while still in local jail, offering to show his birth certificate to prove he is a U.S. citizen and not the man ICE was claiming he was. The situation was ultimately resolved but not before the man lost his job, since he was unable to report for work due to his detention in an ICE facility.
Florida has laws against false imprisonment and the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protects people against unlawful searches and seizures. With a team of legal advocates acting on his behalf, the man has filed multiple lawsuits, alleging that his personal rights were violated. Any man or woman current facing U.S. immigration law problems may also reach out for legal support rather than try to go it alone in court.