Dec 31, 2012 4:57 AM by AP/CS

Advocates say Lafayette immigrant wrongly jailed

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - A Lafayette man has been released after five days in jail for what an advocacy group says was a phony immigration hold placed by the Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Office.

Local officials lifted the hold Friday after an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent told Lafayette authorities the agency had no reason to hold 37-year-old Mario Martinez, who entered the country legally with since-expired permit.

Martinez was among at least nine Hispanic inmates in the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center on Friday facing immigration holds with no charges other than operating a vehicle without a lawful presence in the United States, according to a Daily Advertiser review.

The Isenberg Center for Immigration Empowerment in Dallas is complaining to the FBI and Department of Homeland Security saying local police are acting illegally.


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