KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CN) – Immigration agents arrested a U.S. citizen who is also a Samoan diplomat and held him in jail for 9 days, claiming he was an illegal alien, the man claims in Federal Court. Hans Joachim Keil says immigration agents confiscated his diplomatic passport after unjustly arresting him at the Dutton Family Theater in Branson, Mo.
The immigration agents booked him into the Greene County jail and classified him as an arriving alien in order to deny him bond, Keil says.
Keil, who is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Samoa, says the agents took his valid U.S. passport and Samoan Diplomatic passport, interviewed him without benefit of counsel and refused to let him contact his embassy.
Keil says he was federally charged with falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen, but the charges were dropped when the Department of State acknowledged he was a citizen.
Keil seeks punitive damages for constitutional violations, unlawfully imprisonment, pain and suffering, emotional and mental duress, and for being denied permission to leave Missouri for 4 months to tend to his diplomatic duties.
Defendants include Glenn Triveline, acting field office director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Michael Spinella, agent in charge of the ICE officer in Springfield, Mo.; two ICE agents and State Department Diplomatic Security Service Agent Jack Barnhart.
Keil, an associate minister of Western Samoa, is represented by Rekha Sharma-Crawford of Overland Park, Kan.