Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) and its agents twice violated Plaintiff’s constitutional rights and U.S. government policies; as a result, Plaintiff was detained for 50 days
MIAMI, Fla. — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida, Anthony Dominguez, Esq., Mark Prada, Esq., and Kurzban Kurzban Tetzeli and Pratt, P.A. filed a federal lawsuit today on behalf of Vitaly Bogomazov, an asylum seeker and green card applicant who ICE arrested and detained despite knowing he was present in the United States lawfully.
Mr. Bogomazov brings this case against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), ICE, and two of its agents. These government actors arrested Mr. Bogomazov without probable cause. They violated DHS’ own policies authorizing him to remain in the U.S. pursuant to his asylum application, which he filed while maintaining lawful visitor status. They thwarted Mr. Bogomazov’s access to lawful permanent residence, even though his family petition filed by his daughter, Anna Bogomazova, would grant him immediate eligibility for this status.
“I am a proud naturalized U.S. citizen,” Ms. Bogomozova said. “This country welcomed me for the talents I was able to contribute, and I sincerely believe in its promise of justice and democracy. This is why I have tried to help my father come live here, with me, where he can be safe. We were extremely careful to follow every rule. I am deeply disappointed by his mistreatment, but I still have faith that the American court system will help us.”
Mr. Bogomazov was first arrested by ICE agents on November 8, 2019 at the Miami Field Office of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”), another DHS subagency, right after he completed his green card interview with his spouse and their daughter.
The agents charged Mr. Bogomazov with overstaying his visa. However, U.S. law explicitly authorized Mr. Bogomazov to remain in the U.S. past the expiration of his visa while his asylum application was pending, without being unlawfully present in the United States. Despite his strict compliance with applicable laws, he was detained at the Krome Service Processing Center for 40 days until an immigration judge ordered his release on bond.
Undeterred, ICE agents arrested Mr. Bogomazov a second time on September 23, 2020, in his parking lot, just as he was leaving his home to attend a second green card interview. He was once again taken to the Krome detention center, where he was held for 10 days before the immigration judge, once again, ordered his release
“Sadly, Mr. Bogomazov’s case reflects an all too familiar pattern of harassment and abuse of immigrants and asylum seekers of all origins by U.S. immigration agencies,” said Amien Kacou, staff attorney for the ACLU of Florida. “The case also raises troubling questions regarding the U.S. government targeting and outing critics of foreign governments when they seek U.S. protection under asylum law. ”
The lawsuit asks the court to declare DHS and ICE’s actions unconstitutional under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, and to order damages against ICE’s agents.
The case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida
The complaint can be found here: https://www.aclufl.org/en/complaint-bogomazov-v-dhs-et-al