Woman detained, arrested over citizenship mistake receives settlement

Woman detained, arrested over citizenship mistake receives settlement

PITTSBURGH — A settlement has been reached in a case involving a U.S. citizen who was arrested in Allegheny County after it was mistakenly determined she was in the country unlawfully.

Angelica Davila was reported to federal immigration authorities by a Northern Regional police officer during a traffic stop in 2011. She was then arrested at the request of federal authorities, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania.

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Davila, a naturalized U.S. citizen who immigrated to the United States when she was 2 years old, spent a night in the Allegheny County Jail

"I didn't understand why the officer arrested me and took me to jail," Davila said. "It was only after filing a right to know request that I learned ICE had made a mistake about my immigration status. I filed this case because I don't want this to happen to anyone else."


The Northern Regional Joint Police Board agreed to pay Davila $175,000 in damages and attorneys' fees to settle her claims that her Fourth Amendment rights were violated when she arrested after being detained to investigate her immigration status, the ACLU of Pennsylvania announced Tuesday.

"We hope this case will dissuade local police departments from cooperating with ICE's requests to arrest people for alleged immigration violations," Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, said.