Immigration law cited as Canadian jailed over minor traffic violations
'I'm not a terrorist,' 23-year-old tells Ottawa paper
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution - Published on: 04/14/07
Authorities in South Georgia forced a Canadian tourist to strip naked, shower and spend what she called a harrowing night in jail last weekend for minor traffic violations.
The treatment of Cheryl Kuehn, a graduate student from Ottawa, has sparked outrage in Canada and investigations in Georgia. And Friday, immigrant advocates said it raises new questions about how local authorities are interpreting Georgia's sweeping new immigration law.
Kuehn, 23, was driving to Florida to visit in-laws Saturday when a Georgia state trooper pulled her over in Brunswick for speeding and running a stop sign. The trooper took Kuehn to the local jail to post a cash bond, as is customary for ticketed motorists with a foreign driver's license.
But Kuehn, who was traveling with her husband and two others, ended up spending more than 11 hours at the Glynn County Jail while authorities ran an immigration check on her.
Kuehn's father, Randy Durksen, said he received a distraught call shortly after she was booked.
"Get me out of here. Get me out of here," he recalled her saying. "They want me to strip and shower. The inmates are swearing at me."
Is it any wonder we want to get the hell out of there ? ? ? ?
Update to this incident here.