Broward News

UPDATE: ICE Picks Up Wrong Man, But He's Still Incarcerated -- Eight Days Later

Marta Giraldo is a inching a little bit closer to understanding what happened last Thursday morning -- but she's far from getting closure.

As we described in this post, immigration officials pounded on the door of her Pompano Beach house a bit after 6 in the morning last Thursday, woke Giraldo and her husband, Clovis E. DaSilva, and bundled DaSilva into one of two waiting vans.

She hasn't seen or talked to him since.

Nor would the agents who arrested DaSilva tell her why he was being arrested or on what charges. The 53-year-old Giraldo is a Colombian-born U.S. citizen; her 50-year-old husband, who works cleaning offices and warehouses, was in the process of completing paperwork to obtain legal residency. He'd gone through all the right channels, applying exactly by the book.

Now, eight days later, DaSilva is lost in a maze of red tape.

Giraldo says her husband was taken to Broward Transition Center on Powerline Road. Finally, on Tuesday, she learned that no charges would be filed against him. He will not have to go to court, much less will he be deported. In fact, he's free to go -- as soon as his lawyer meets with immigration official Laura Perez to sign the paperwork for his release.

Perez, however, is incommunicado. Giraldo says that her lawyer's repeated calls to Perez have gone unreturned. And until the lawyer can meet with Perez, her husband is stuck in the Transition Center -- on the basis of what appears to be a big mistake.

Giraldo learned that her husband was shown photos of four men and asked if he knew any of them. Giraldo had never seen any of the men in his life. He was also asked where he obtained his driver's license. He told agents he'd gotten it from the DMV on Oakland Park Boulevard. Friends speculate that his arrest may have somehow been related to the huge April 30 ICE sweep in South Florida -- Operation Cross Check -- that resulted in the arrests of almost 600 criminal fugitives.

Evidently agents had rousted Giraldo and DaSilva from their beds, terrorized them, embarrassed them in front of their neighbors, and all but "disappeared" DaSilva -- for no good reason.

Or if there was a good one, we hope to hear it. The Juice left messages with Detention and Removal Operations Field Office Director Michael Rozos yesterday and with Laura Perez today, but those calls too have gone unreturned. We'll update when we know more.

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Gail Shepherd
Contact: Gail Shepherd