The Latest: Border Patrol wants probe of woman's detention

AP News
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Posted: Feb 24, 2017 7:08 PM

EL PASO, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the controversy over the arrest on immigration charges of a transgender woman at an El Paso courthouse (all times local):

5:10 p.m.

The Border Patrol has asked for an internal investigation of the circumstances leading up to the arrest of a transgender woman in an El Paso courthouse.

Irvin Gonzalez was as she was seeking court-ordered protection from an abusive boyfriend. The arrest has led to questions about what lengths authorities will go to apprehend people under newly stepped-up immigration policies.

Advocates say Gonzalez's abuser tipped off authorities about her Feb. 9 court hearing on a requested protective order. Gonzalez was taken into custody by a task force composed of Border Patrol agents and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers who surrounded the exits of the courthouse until she was detained.

In a statement Friday, Customs and Border Protection spokesman Douglas Mosier said the case has been referred to the Office of Inspector General.

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12:10 p.m.

The arrest by federal authorities in El Paso of a transgender woman who was seeking protection from an abusive boyfriend has led to questions about what lengths authorities will go to apprehend people under newly stepped-up immigration policies.

Advocates say Irvin Gonzalez's abuser tipped off authorities about her court hearing, resulting in her Feb. 9 arrest by a task force composed of Border Patrol agents and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers who surrounded the exits of the courthouse until she was detained.

Her federal public defender on Wednesday filed a petition for her immediate release, saying in court documents that a Border Patrol agent perjured himself when he wrote in an affidavit that Gonzalez was arrested outside the building when surveillance shows agents conducting the arrest inside.

Gonzalez, 33, is transgender and began transitioning two years ago, according to one of her attorneys, Melissa Untereker. Gonzalez is distraught and suffering from the side effects of stopping her hormone therapy, which she hasn't been able to get in jail, she said.

Gonzalez is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service while she faces a federal charge of illegal re-entry into the United States.