CSULA student, DACA activist sues government over ICE detention

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Outspoken activist and DREAMer Claudia Rueda and her legal team filed a federal lawsuit accusing the Department of Homeland Security of detaining her illegally for being critical of the agency, ICE and border patrol.

"I'm here today because the Department of Homeland Security is targeting me. They want to deport me. They want to silence me for my political activism," she said.

Last year, while going out to move her car, she was picked up by ICE and detained for nearly a month. Rueda and her supporters accuse DHS of using retaliatory tactics for speaking out after her mother was picked up in a border patrol and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department drug raid.

During her detention in Chula Vista, protests were organized outside the facility. Rueda was released nearly a month later.

On Tuesday, her lawyers filed a lawsuit, asking that the rejection of her Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals application be reversed.

"We will ask a federal judge to impose appropriate remedies against the government for that illegal seizure and to make sure that Claudia gets consideration and the DACA benefits that she's truly entitled to," attorney John Ulin said.

Rueda is a Cal State Los Angeles student. She said her DACA application was rejected because of her activism. With supporters standing behind her, she said she still faces deportation.

"I'm still not free. I'm still in deportation proceedings. I will not stay silent," she said.

Eyewitness News reached out to the DHS and ICE, but had not heard back from the agencies.

Rueda has her deportation hearing set for the end of November. A judge is expected to rule on her federal lawsuit after the first of the year.
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