Cecil Harvey, 55, an illegal immigrant from Barbados with a long rap sheet for various crimes has now won a lawsuit against New York City, citing that his civil rights were violated when he was detained for more than 48 hours on Rikkers Island after the resolution of his last criminal case.
Federal law allows for suspected illegal immigrants to be held at Rikers Island for a period not to exceed 48 hours, which is designed to allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement a chance to move them to a federal correctional institution and then to go through the deportation cycle. In Harvey's case he was held for over a month before being released. Armed with a civil rights advocacy group, he argued successfully that being held for a month exceeded the Federal allowed time frame of 48 hours.
The court agreed and awarded him $145,000. Harvey a father of three, along with three prior arrests was deported back to Barbados back in October of 2007, but now is much wealthier than when he left at the expense of the New York City tax payers.
The problem is that ICE fails to get these suspected illegal immigrants transferred in time and now the New York City Department of Corrections is having to dump these illegals on the streets and just leave it up to ICE to hunt them down and handle them.
According to one jail supervisor
, "We just release them now. It's ICE's problem to go find these guys."
ICE contends that they are always ready to interview and move illegals, as long as they are notified. They could not comment on why Harvey was not moved but contend that they were never notified.
New York City claims that Harvey's was an isolated case.