Ana Suda and Martha “Mimi” Hernandez, who were both born in the United States, have said they were detained by a Border Patrol agent after he heard them chatting in Spanish while buying groceries at a store in Havre, Montana, in May.
…The ACLU also says in the complaint that the agent’s actions violated the women’s rights to equal protection and their Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure because there was “no legitimate reason to detain” them.
“Agent O’Neal singled them out based on race, relying on their use of Spanish as a justification and proxy for race,” the suit says.
…The lawsuit asks that the defendants — the CBP, its commissioner, the agent and others — be stopped from detaining individuals on the basis of race, accent or speaking Spanish, except for when when there are specific and reliable suspect descriptions.
Our hope is not only that they prevail and cause serious and prohibitive consequences be imposed on the offending officer and all of his superiors and supervisors but that this is the first of many suits against un-American conduct by officers of the law,