Asylum Seekers Sue Feds Over ICE Data Leak

Plaintiffs seek monetary damages, termination of eviction proceedings

EL PASO, TX (border report). Twenty-one migrants are suing the federal government for accidentally posting their personal information on the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website.

A five-hour leak last November revealed the names, nationalities, whereabouts and other personal information of more than 6,000 migrants held in detention centers across the country. ICE said the leak was unintentional and occurred when an employee updated an Excel spreadsheet.

Some of the 21 migrants who filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Friday have been released from detention in Texas (El Paso Detention Center), Georgia (Stuart Detention Center), Arizona (Eloy Detention Center) and Colorado . SIZO “Aurora”). Others remain in ICE custody.

Their lawyers and immigration advocates said the leak put people from Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Colombia, Jamaica and France at risk, some of whom are fleeing persecution or torture.

They are asking for a one-year suspension or removal from the country, retrial, housing, and $15,000 in restitution and punitive damages. The lawsuit also seeks reasonable costs and attorneys’ fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act.

San Diego-based law firm Morrison Urena LC is also asking the court to designate the case as a class action under rule 23(b)(2).

The lawsuit lists Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Majorcas, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Acting ICE Director Tae D. Johnson, and an unidentified ICE employee as defendants.

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