American Civil Liberties Union sues to uncover the extent of cooperation between railroad police and US immigration officers

RELATED TOPICS: UNION PACIFIC | LAWSUITS | WEST | CALIFORNIA
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LOS ANGELES — The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California has filed a lawsuit it hopes will shed light on alleged operations conducted between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Union Pacific Railroad Police.

According to a statement issued by the SoCal ACLU, the lawsuit is based upon alleged violations by ICE of the Freedom of Information Act. The ACLU claims ICE failed to fulfill a records request originally filed in September 2018 seeking information regarding possible cooperation between ICE and UP Police to detain individuals.

The ACLU alleges that on different occasions, UP Police detain individuals longer than allowed by law after making contact with the individuals near railroad property, and held them for several hours until representatives from ICE could arrive to take them into federal custody. In one alleged incident in February 2018, the ACLU claims a female was detained by UP Police two hours before being turned over to ICE and being taken into custody without having her Fifth Amendment rights read to her. The incidents cited in the lawsuit are alleged to have occurred in several locations in southern California.

The ACLU claims the alleged actions by UP Police have been rooted in racial profiling, and the work between ICE and UP Police has been shrouded in secrecy.

A statement from Union Pacific to NBC4 in Los Angeles says protecting the railroad's property is a priority regardless of the immigration status of any potential offender.

In a letter accompanying the lawsuit, the ACLU and several other groups are demanding Union Pacific Police cut ties with ICE.

More information is available online.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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