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December 03, 2018

Philadelphia native allegedly detained by ICE for seven months suing Florida authorities

Peter Sean Brown, who was born in Philadelphia, had only spent one day in Jamaica on a cruise when authorities threatened him with deportation there

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10292018_jail_cell_prison_bars_Flickr. Michael Coghlan/via Flickr Creative Commons


A Philadelphia native is suing authorities in Monroe County, Florida for allegedly illegally detaining him for seven months and threatening him with deportation while he was in custody.

Peter Sean Brown, 50, said that even though he reportedly told authorities that he was a U.S. citizen, he allegedly ended up in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainment center in Miami, according to CNN. 

Brown, who has only spent one day in Jamaica on a cruise, was threatened with deportation to a Jamaican prison after he turned himself in for a probation violation in April 2018 in Monroe County. 

While there, local authorities allegedly sent his information to ICE and permitted a detainer request, which allowed them to hold Brown up to 48 hours past when he would have been released so that ICE could pick him up. He was eventually transferred from a local jail to Krome immigration detention center in Miami. 

It wasn't until seven months later when a friend sent ICE a photo of Brown's birth certificate that he was released. If the photo had not been produced, Brown would have been deported, according to the lawsuit.

The allegations are detailed in a complaint filed by a coalition of immigrant rights groups in the U.S. District Court in the southern district of Miami. 

Attorneys representing Brown are arguing that the case points out the flaws within ICE's detainer system and why local police shouldn't do the agency's bidding, according to CNN. 

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