MARYLAND

Roxana Orellana Santos' lawsuit to be reconsidered

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FREDERICK, Md. (WJLA) - A federal appeals court has ruled that a discrimination lawsuit filed by a Salvadoran native was improperly dismissed by a lower court in February 2012. 

In October 2008, Roxana Orellana Santos was eating lunch outside her workplace when two Frederick County sheriff's deputies approached her and questioned her immigration status, even though Santos had broken no laws, her attorney says. After asking for her identification, the deputies learned Santos was wanted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on a civil deportation warrant. 

Santos was held without criminal charges for 46 days. She later sued, arguing that the arrest violated her Fourth Amendment rights. 

Three judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit concluded Wednesday that Santos could not sue the deputies or Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, but ordered that a lower court re-examine the case.

“It is apparent that the Frederick County deputies pre-textually stopped, questioned and detained Ms. Orellana Santos solely based upon her physical appearance at a time when the Fredrick County Sheriff was publicly trumpeting how many immigrants his office had arrested. This is the essence of racial profiling," said Jose Perez, Deputy General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF.

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