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Visa Holder Gets $25K From Arizona Sheriff

PHOENIX (CN) - A woman who spent 5 days in immigration jail though she had a valid visa application pending won a $25,001 judgment against an Arizona sheriff and two deputies, her attorneys said.

A federal judge on Thursday granted the judgment against Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu and two deputies, plus attorney's fees.

Maria Cortes sued the sheriff in September, after she was stopped for an alleged traffic violation, then turned over to the Border Patrol, who jailed her for 5 days though she had a pending application for a U visa, as a victim of domestic violence.

The arresting officer told her he "wasn't interested" in her visa, Cortes said Thursday through her attorneys. She was arrested and jailed in September 2012 and was granted the visa in 2013.

It was the first federal lawsuit to challenge Arizona's "show me your papers" law, Cortes' attorneys said.

She was represented by the ACLU.


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