SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- A Southern California woman has taken the first step toward suing county and federal officials after she says she was detained by immigration authorities for deportation even though she is an American citizen.
The Los Angeles Times reports reports Friday that 59-year-old hairdresser Guadalupe Plascencia filed a notice of claim with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Plascencia says she was arrested in March on a bench warrant for failing to testify in a 2007 case. She was arrested by immigration agents when leaving jail the next day.
"I felt helpless, like I was no one," she said in an interview with the newspaper. "Here, they talk about rights ... in that moment, I realized, we don't have rights."
She was released after her daughter showed her passport. Her lawyer says she was detained by immigration at least an hour and less than a day.
ICE said in a statement that the agency would never knowingly detain a U.S. citizen.
"Should such information come to light, the agency will take immediate action to address the matter," the statement read.