Illegal Immigrant Awarded $1.5M In Lawsuit Against Park County, CO; Fears Deportation
Yes, that's $1.5 million, on top of the $1 million in medical bills paid for by the Feds--and now is "fearful" of deportation:
Now, Park County has agreed to pay a $1.5 million settlement to the 31-year-old man — while denying any wrongdoing and Carranza-Reyes' charges, according to the agreement announced Monday.The defendants cited inspections by federal and state authorities that indicated conditions were satisfactory:
But the disabled man's problems — and the debate over his ordeal and his illegal entry into the United States — are far from over.
Federal immigration authorities allowed Carranza-Reyes to remain in the U.S. while he recuperated. But his attorneys stressed in recent court filings that the man, who still lives in Colorado, is "in danger of deportation."
Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Carl Rusnok said today that "anyone who is illegally present in the United States runs the risk of being identified, located, arrested and ultimately deported."
ICE continues to have a detainee-housing agreement with Park County and the jail is inspected by the agency annually to ensure it complies with ICE's "strict detention standard," Rusnok said.
Although federal authorities paid most of Carranza-Reyes' $1 million medical bill, his attorneys wrote that the financial settlement was needed in part to fund long-term recovery for the man who remains "financially desperate, is unemployed, and in desperate need of medical care."
The immigrant "continues to suffer unbearable pain" from nerve damage in both legs and requires physical therapy and possibly more surgeries, according to court papers.
But the settlement, paid by the county's insurance, is sure to reignite protests by illegal immigration critics who railed against Carranza-Reyes' lawsuit filing in 2005.
"I am truly sorry that Moises Carranza-Reyes has lost his leg," a Denver man wrote in a letter to the Rocky at the time. "But if he had not been in this country illegally, he would still have his leg.
But in a motion seeking to have the case thrown out, Park County officials noted that a 2002 inspection by federal immigration authorities found "detainees were issued appropriate clothing, bedding, and towels, and that laundry and cleaning of those items were generally done appropriately."The judge, obviously, disagreed.
The defendants added that a 2003 inspection by state prison officials reported the jail "pod, cells and showers were quite clean."
Carranza-Reyes was a former Mexico City police sergeant.