This Man Was Hit by a Car and an Officer Asked 'Are You Illegal' Before Helping

Unconscious Cyclist after a road accident (Photo: MagMos/Getty Images)

This Man Was Hit by a Car and an Officer Asked 'Are You Illegal' Before Helping

Marcos Antonio Huete was later detained by Border Patrol.

Published May 26, 2017

After getting hit by a car while riding his bicycle to work, a 31-year-old Honduran immigrant was questioned about his immigration status before receiving medical assistance the emergency responder, according to Univision.

On April 27, Marcos Antonio Huete was struck by a GMC Sierra pickup truck in Key West, Florida. After the accident, Huete sat on the side of the road and waited for emergency assistance. A Monroe County sheriff arrived moments later and decided to question Huete about his citizenship before allowing him to go to a hospital.

"You illegal? Are you a legal citizen or no? Speak English? You got ID? Passport, visa or what?” the Monroe County sheriff asked Huete.

Due to the language barrier, Huete was barely able to respond and used his phone to call his sister — who arrived shortly after. 

Huete was eventually taken to a hospital. However, once he was discharged, the police officer asked him and his sister to return to the scene.

"He did not tell us why, but we went back because my brother had not done anything. We had no reason to flee," Olga Huete told Univision.

The two arrived back at the scene and Huete was given a $75 fine by a Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHP) officer for darting in front of the pickup and causing the accident, said Olga.

Additionally, Border Patrol agents showed up and requested Huete produce his papers. When Huete could not do so, he was sent to the Krome Detention Center near Miami. Olga told Univision he spent almost a month in detention pending possible deportation.

"The fact that we do not have papers does not mean that we do not have rights," Olga told Univision.

Huete's family has contacted a lawyer to fight for Huete's right to stay in the country where he has worked to support his family. 

"Asking for immigration status to a person after being hit by a car offends human rights sensitivity and is very counterproductive for effective law enforcement," said Howard Simon, executive director of the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: MagMos/Getty Images)


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