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July 12, 2019

The ACLU Filed a Lawsuit on Behalf of Farm Worker and Student Jose Bello

SAN FRANCISCO — A hearing on the ACLU lawsuit regarding Jose Bello, a Bakersfield man arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents shortly after publicly reciting a poem critical of ICE, will be held Monday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. The lawsuit argues that Bello's arrest violates the First Amendment, as ICE agents have repeatedly "targeted activists who publicly criticize its immigration enforcement practices." Bello, who is a farm worker and student, is imprisoned at the Mesa Verde detention facility on an ICE-imposed $50,000 bond though his annual income in only about $20,000. The suit calls for him to be released or, alternatively, for his bail amount to be greatly reduced.

A video of Bello reading his poem before the Kern County Board of Supervisors can be seen here:

Read the ACLU SoCal court filing:

WHAT: Court hearing on a law suit filed by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California on behalf of Jose Bello, arrested by ICE agents shortly after reciting a poem critical of ICE actions.

WHO: ACLU attorneys will argue the case. Bello’s family and friends, as well as activists, will be present. The ACLU has requested that the court order ICE to produce Bello at the hearing.

WHEN: Monday, July 15, at 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: Philip Burton Federal Building & United States Courthouse, 450 Golden Gate Ave., San Francisco. Courtroom C on the 15th floor.