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Judge Sides with Immigration Agents in Tussle at Kansas Jail

Associated Press - February 28, 2017 10:53 am

A federal judge has sided with immigration agents in a lawsuit filed by a Kenyan man who alleges he was violently attacked at a Kansas jail for refusing to be fingerprinted before deportation.

U.S. District Judge Kathryn Vratil’s decision on Tuesday reverses her previous ruling that had granted a trial for Justine Mochama, an international college student who overstayed his visa. His lawsuit claimed the agents used excessive force during a January 2014 altercation at the Butler County jail.

Vratil cited a recent Supreme Court decision that tightened the legal standard to require plaintiffs to establish “beyond debate” that the actions were unconstitutional.

The judge sought written arguments from the parties on that point before summarily ruling that immigration agents Timothy Zwetow and Rodney Nichols are entitled to qualified immunity.