Attorney: ICE 'Lied' About Not Arresting Phoenix Deportee

May 12, 2017
Matthew Casey
Members of Shadow Rock United Church of Christ pray with Marco Tulio Coss (center) before his regular check-in at Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Phoenix. Coss faces deportation but was released and told to return in 30 days.

The lawyer for a Mesa man deported Thursday said Immigration and Customs Enforcement lied to him when officials repeatedly promised not to arrest his client.

ICE detained Marco Tulio Coss because he had a deportation order from 2011, and his subsequent appeals had failed, according to a statement from an agency spokeswoman.

For years, Coss did regular check-ins at ICE headquarters in Phoenix. After filing new paperwork with the agency to stop Coss from getting deported, attorney Ravi Arora said officials told him Coss would not face arrest until after the request was considered.

If ICE ultimately denied it, Arora said officials promised Coss would get additional time to get his affairs in order.

ICE then sent Coss to get an ankle bracelet. Arora went with him. But they were told it would take a couple hours. Arora said ICE already knew he had to be in court for another case. When Arora left, ICE arrested Coss.

“They deliberately lied and misled myself, him and others in order to get him down here,” Arora said. “And in order to separate him from me and from the press so they could remove him from the country.” 

ICE’s actions broke Arora’s trust, which he said makes him hesitant to tell other clients to show up for ICE appointments.

“I can’t advise anybody to break the law,” Arora said. “But I would certainly be remiss to encourage them to put themselves in danger at the same time.”