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PSP Announces Settlement with ACLU in Marquez v. Commonwealth

04/06/2022

Harrisburg, PA ­– The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) today announced that it has reached a settlement of $865,000 with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Marquez, et. al. v. Commonwealth, et. al., No. 1:19-cv-00599-YK (M.D. Pa.), which includes payments to each individual plaintiff and related attorney fees.

The ACLU filed the civil lawsuit in 2019 on behalf of 10 plaintiffs who alleged civil rights violations surrounding their immigration status and subsequent detention. The settlement avoids protracted litigation and includes updates and revisions to PSP policy and training and the contact data reporting for traffic stops.  

Since the initiation of the lawsuit, there have been federal court decisions narrowly interpreting the ability of state and local law enforcement to engage in civil immigration enforcement outside of a cooperation agreement. The updates and revisions to policy and training are consistent with the current case law, and include the following adaptations:

  • revisions to Administrative Regulation 7-14, Enforcement of Civil Immigration Law; Arrest/Detention or Death of Foreign Nationals (the updated regulation is published on PSP's public webpage and can be found here), to include updates that are consistent with current case law;
  • mandatory training to ensure enlisted members are familiar with the updated policy and procedure; and
  • continuance of PSP's partnership with the University of Cincinnati to collect contact data reporting for traffic stops. To ensure the most comprehensive data is being captured, multiple updates have been added in the last year. A contact data report is completed by each PSP member after the completion of a traffic stop.

"I am confident these changes to policy and training will ensure the department is in compliance with current case law," said Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Robert Evanchick. "These positive changes will allow PSP personnel to continue to provide professional, dedicated service while staying up to date with changing case law and expectations."

For more information on the Pennsylvania State Police, visit psp.pa.gov.

MEDIA CONTACTS:  Corporal Brent Miller or Lieutenant Adam Reed, 717-783-5556, ra-pspcomm@pa.gov

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