Lawsuit Challenges Lengthy Detentions of Suspected Illegal Immingrants in Montana

Over minor traffic violations


The Montana Highway Patrol unconstitutionally detains suspected illegal immigrants for hours on minor driving infractions, a federal class claims.

The Montana Immigrant Justice Alliance and four individuals filed the complaint in Butte, Mont., against Montana Highway Patrol Colonel Tom Butler and Montana Attorney General Tim Fox.

They say the defendants "have implemented a custom, policy and practice of seizing Latino residents and visitors of Montana and prolonging their detention longer than necessary to resolve the alleged violations of the law that defendants have authority to enforce. The sole purpose of prolonging these individuals' detention is to hold them as defendants contact agencies within the Department of Homeland Security ('DHS'), including Immigration and Customs Enforcement ('ICE') and U.S. Customs and Border Protection ('CBP'), based on suspicions of civil immigration status violations."