Local lawsuit takes on immigration debate

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CLEVELAND – The FOX 8 I-TEAM has found a Northeast Ohio civil rights attorney taking legal action and opening a new front in the raging debate about immigration and U.S. borders.

Attorney David Malik has filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. The lawsuit has been filed on behalf of a Mexican woman who’d been living in Painesville before recently getting deported. She had spent 25 years in the U.S. even though she is a native and citizen of Mexico.

The lawsuit centers on the efforts of Pacheco Padilla to stay in the U.S. until she became a citizen.

Attorney Malik is taking ICE to court for its “systemic denials” of applications to stay or put off deportations.  The suit says ICE has ignored public records requests.

Malik says he hopes the lawsuit will bring attention to how immigrants who are detained or deported are treated. He says many suffer medically and that immigration issues cannot be solved without help from the medical community.

The I-TEAM contacted a regional spokesperson for ICE. A voicemail recording says ICE public affairs agents are out of the office as a result of the ongoing U.S. government shutdown.

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