Palestinian immigrant sues NYC for discrimination

A Palestinian immigrant sued the city on Thursday, saying he was unfairly accused of immigration violations in retaliation for accusing police officers of discriminiation. The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund filed the claim against the city on behalf of Waheed Saleh, who said he is from the Palestinian Territories and works as a cashier. Saleh, who came to the United States five years ago and lives in the Bronx, said in the lawsuit that he filed an administrative complaint against a police officer in late 2003, alleging that he was repeatedly subjected to verbal abuse and baseless threats of arrest. On Dec. 20, 2004, a police lieutenant accompanied a federal immigration officer as Saleh was taken into custody, the lawsuit said. Saleh spent two weeks detained as federal authorities accused him of staying in the United States illegally, said his lawyer, Tushar Sheth. The lawsuit says his constitutional rights including free speech were violated and he suffered extreme pain and hardship as a result of his improper arrest, detention and deportation proceedings. The city had not received the lawsuit but planned to review it thoroughly before commenting, law department spokeswoman Kimberly Miu said Thursday.