A federal judge has ruled that immigration officials violated a woman's rights by unlawfully detaining her as a "deportable alien" while authorities reviewed whether she was in the country illegally.
Judge John McConnell Jr. ruled Tuesday that Ada Morales' detention "revealed a dysfunction of constitutional proportion" at the state and federal levels.
McConnell also ruled that the state Department of Corrections and its director have limited protection from damage claims.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island sued in 2012, alleging that Morales was wrongfully detained because of her national origin and last name.
State Attorney General Peter Kilmartin says McConnell applied the law properly.
A spokesman says that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement can't comment until its legal department reviews the ruling.