UPDATE: Pompano Man Home After False Arrest and Eight Days in Transition Center

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ICE opens the cage: The bird goes free at last.
Marta Giraldo says her husband is home at last. And his release appears to have been considerably speeded up thanks to two New Times stories.

Giraldo's husband, Clovis DaSilva, was rousted from bed last week by ICE agents at his home in Pompano Beach and detained for eight days at Broward Transition Center. He has no criminal record and had been in the process of obtaining his green card and eventual citizenship. Giraldo, a U.S. citizen, was unable to communicate with her husband, nor was she informed why he was arrested.

On Tuesday, Giraldo's lawyer learned that no charges would be being filed against DaSilva. It appears to have been a case of mistaken identity, although Immigration is admitting to no mistakes and has so far failed to explain why DaSilva was picked up. Our calls to Homeland Security and the Transition Center went unanswered, but they seem to have gotten the message: Yesterday DaSilva was speedily released, with agents evidently rushing to get rid of him as quickly as possible.

DaSilva will head to Miami to retrieve his passport on June 7. His wife says although the experience was traumatic and he'll never be compensated for seven days of lost work, DaSilva has bounced back and is looking forward to getting back to his job and life.

This is only one instance of a mistaken arrest in what may have been related to the large ICE sweep in South Florida on April 30. But DaSilva and Giraldo were frightened, humiliated in front of their neighbors in this quiet bedroom community, and forced to endure more than a week of anxiety. We can only hope that arrests like this are a fluke and not destined to become the norm as anti-immigration sentiment gathers steam in South Florida.


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