BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A First Amendment case involving local college student and activist Jose Bello was heard by an appeals court on Tuesday.
Bello’s bond was revoked and he was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement 36 hours after reading a poem before the Kern County Board of Supervisors that was critical of ICE. Bello was taken to the Mesa Verde Detention Center.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California is representing Bello, claiming he was arrested in retaliation for reciting his poem. A lawsuit filed on Bello’s behalf was rejected in federal district court. The ACLU appealed that decision on Tuesday.
ICE claims Bello was arrested because of a months-old DUI, not because of retaliation. The ACLU argues that ICE did not detain him after the DUI, but only after Bello spoke out against the agency.