FALMOUTH, Mass. — A woman on Cape Cod has been detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after assaulting a man wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat.
Rosiane Santos, 41, of Falmouth was charged with disorderly conduct and assault and battery after a confrontation at a Mexican restaurant last Friday.
Santos told police she was upset the man was wearing the hat in a Mexican restaurant. According to ICE, Santos' arrest revealed her status as an illegal immigrant from Brazil who overstayed a 1994 tourist visa.
The man wearing the hat, 23-year-old Bryton Turner of Mashpee, told Boston 25 News he pulled out his phone and started recording her after she confronted him at Casa Vallarta.
"I don’t think ICE or anything would’ve been involved if it wasn’t for the video," said Emmanuel Santos, Rosiane's husband.
Turner says he was minding his own business when Santos started yelling at him because of his hat, which bears the theme that President Donald Trump campaigned on.
When asked if Turner did anything to provoke Santos, bartender Geo Macarao said, "No, no he just walked in and ordered his food."
When police showed up to the restaurant, the woman told them the man shouldn't be allowed to eat in a Mexican restaurant. President Donald Trump is aiming to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
"You wore that hat going to a Mexican restaurant, I think you were trying to provoke some people," said Emmanuel Santos, who alleges Turner instigated the confrontation before the recording. "If he shot that video himself, I don’t think he would shoot it when he was saying the things he was saying.
"Being a foreigner you go through a lot. She’s been through a lot in her life; she felt she had to stand up for herself and for other people."
As Falmouth police officers were escorting Santos out of the restaurant, Macarao said she took another swipe at Turner.
Emmanuel Santos was not there when his wife was arrested, but he insists she was antagonized before losing her cool.
ICE officials said Tuesday they had taken Rosiane Santos into custody. She has since been released pending removal proceedings, and uncertainty now surrounds her future here in the U.S.
"Earlier today, deportation officers with ICE’s Fugitive Operations Team arrested Rosiane Santos, an unlawfully present citizen of Brazil, today near Falmouth, Massachusetts. Santos is currently facing local charges for assault and other offenses. She has since been released from ICE custody after being entered into removal proceedings in the federal immigration courts and provided a Notice to Appear at a future date before an immigration judge."
Immigration attorney Katarina Kozakova says Santos married a U.S. citizen and has applied for a green card.
Given she is still adjusting her immigration status, Santos can appeal her case at an immigration court.
Santos, a Brazilian immigrant, said while she regrets her actions, she claims she was provoked.
"You just follow the process and hopefully everything goes the way it’s suppose to go," Emmanuel Santos said.
"All her family - mom, dad - are American citizens now - sister, brother - and it’s just unfortunate for her."
Emmanuel said that his wife has two teenage kids from a previous marriage and does missionary work for a local church on Cape Cod.
In a statement sent to Boston 25 News, the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) said:
"It's unfortunate that ICE has taken Ms. Santos into custody before her case is adjudicated in the courts. ICE interference disrupts our justice system and denies both sides the resolution they deserve.
As you can see in ICE's own report, ICE arrests of people in Ms. Santos' situation increased fivefold in the first two years of the Trump administration. That's a disturbing trend and bad news for our justice system."
Turner, the alleged victim, gave a statement to Boston 25 as well.
"I was surprised to see the news," he wrote of Santos' detainment. "I give people the benefit of the doubt most times and never would have dubbed her illegal. Unfortunately for her this country has laws in place to protect its citizens and they have to be obeyed. That’s what makes this country great."
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