"A 32-year-old Mission District resident who sued the city for unlawful arrest after authorities violated the Sanctuary City Ordinance is set to receive a $190,000 settlement. Pedro Figueroa-Zarceno, a native of El Salvador, was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after the San Francisco Police Department tipped them off about a 10-year-old outstanding warrant for his deportation. SFPD became aware of his status when Figueroa-Zarceno visited Southern Police Station on Dec. 2, 2015, to retrieve a police report about his stolen car. He was arrested as he exited the station, and sent to a detention center in Martinez, where he stayed for two months. As an added blow, his car was auctioned off during his stay.
Figueroa-Zarceno’s immigration case is complicated — there’s a solid run down of all the nitty gritty details here — and it’s still in process. Immigration attorneys at Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale LLP were able to get Figueroa-Zarceno out on bond after two months in detention. While his legal status within the country may take a while to establish, the lawsuit is moving right along, thanks to the Asian Law Caucus, which is representing him in the case against the city.
Lawyer Saira Hussain tells SF Weekly that the Asian Law Caucus was introduced to Figueroa-Zarceno’s case after his immigration attorneys reached out to FREE SF, a coalition of 21 organizations which together advocate for “community safety, transformative justice, immigrant rights, and self-determination.” Figueroa-Zarceno’s arrest, his attorneys suspected, had violated the city’s Sanctuary Ordinance, which bans city employees from assisting ICE in detentions or arrests. Upon investigation, FREE SF agreed, and the Asian Law Caucus filed a suit against the city on behalf of Figueroa-Zarceno in January."