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Posts Tagged ‘illegal search’

New Mexico Governor Authorizes Police Officers to Question Immigration Status of Arrestees

February 10th, 2011 1 comment
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Gov. Susana Martinez’s executive order authorizing state police officers to inquire about the immigration status of a person arrested on a criminal charge has fueled debate across the New Mexico.

Critics of the decision say it gives state police too much power and that rescinding the state’s sanctuary policy leaves room for racial profiling.

However, governor’s spokesman Scott Darnell said Monday’s decision — which revoked a policy signed by former Gov. Bill Richardson in 2005 — addresses a public-safety issue and fulfills a commitment Martinez made during her campaign.

“Governor Martinez believes that public safety is an important priority and this is a public safety issue, not an immigration issue,” Darnell said.

Darnell said the governor had discussed her decision with law-enforcement officials. He also noted her 13 years of experience as a district attorney in Doña Ana County, where local law officers aren’t bound by a sanctuary policy.

Immigration Agents Raid and Arrest 20 Immigrants in Tennessee

November 8th, 2010 No comments
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In front of The Clairmont Apartments, representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition denounced a raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in October that resulted in the detention of more than 20 undocumented immigrants.

Apparently, immigrant representatives and witnesses say agents broke into the apartments and arrested men and women at gunpoint, forcing them to leave their children behind.
Moreover, immigrant representatives know of no criminal charges filed against the people who agents rounded up. Additionally, they claim that warrants were not presented before agents entered the apartments by force. One source says they were taken to a detention facility in Ft. Payne, Ala., despite the fact that Davidson County has a facility that participates in 287 (g), a federal program that allows local law enforcement to screen and detain undocumented immigrants.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Hispanics have had trouble at the Clairmont Apartments. In 1999, a Scene investigation discovered a private security company was beating, harassing and often extorting Hispanic residents of the Clairmont, then known as Ivy Wood.

Bride and Groom’s Big Day Ruined by Overzealous Border Patrol Agents

June 20th, 2010 1 comment
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A wedding at Taylor Park in St. Albans, Vermont, had all the trappings of a wonderful experience. But, unfortunately the wedding day was marred by overzealous border agents.

According to the bride, not every detail turned out the way it should have. The hair stylist and her husband, who’s African-American, said they became victims of racial profiling on their wedding night, claiming a handful of border patrol officers rudely interrupted their reception demanding to see immigration status papers from the groom and some of their guests.

It was about 9 p.m. when five to six cars of border patrol agents swarmed their party. The groom said he confronted the agents and asked them to leave, but they refused.

Mark Henry, of the U.S. Border Patrol’s Swanton sector, said the agency got a call that night from a “concerned individual” about a “suspicious incident” on Main Street. He said three officers showed up to check it out, which is standard protocol.

Henry said the officers talked to a couple men standing outside the party; however they never checked anyone’s identification or asked to see any papers. Henry said the officers told the party-goers to make sure they had designated drivers, and then left.

The groom, a 28-year-old soccer player with the Vermont Voltage who has lived in Vermont for about 10 years, denied that happened and said he’s appalled.

He claims that because of  the border patrols interruption, his wedding ceremony went south automatically. Everybody left the party. Including most of their guest who came from out of state, which are leaving with a very sour taste of how people are treated in Vermont.
The couple said they had about 70 guests, some of whom were black.

Border patrol officials made no comments on whether there’s an internal investigation into the allegation.

Michigan Legislator Inspired by New Anti-Immigrant Law in Arizona

May 12th, 2010 No comments
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After the controversial immigration law passed in Arizona, Michigan has shown interest in a similar immigration law. The Arizona law passed last month directs police to stop suspected illegal aliens and ask them for documentation proving their lawful residency.

Even though Michigan doesn’t have nearly the immigration problem that the border states have, there is no official estimate of the number of illegal aliens in Michigan. Also, according to demographer Ken Darga, the counting process is pretty imprecise.
However, the issue is enough of a concern to federal border officials that they allocated about $20 million a year ago to watch the northern US border for illegal immigrants crossing from Canada.

Republican Kim Meltzer, R-Clinton Township, is drafting a bill that would give police officers the authority to arrest illegal aliens who are stopped and questioned on another offense.
Meltzer believes that the firestorm made on the Arizona law is being misplaced.  She’s proposing tightening immigration laws because there are many illegal immigrants crossing the northern US borders and that the local law enforcement has their hands tied.

Ken Grabowski, legislative director for the Police Officers Association of Michigan, also believes that a law giving local police more authority to deal with illegal aliens is something that needs to be done, because if police find someone who is here illegally, they take them to the local USCIS office. After this, the illegal alien is given a notice to appear for a later date, however nobody ever shows up.

Others are also interested in immigration state law enforcement against illegal immigrants. Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard is making immigration a key topic in his race for the Republican nomination for governor. He says the federal government’s failure to secure the borders is the reason Arizona had to take action. He believes that more and more illegal immigrants are sneaking into America on the southern and northern borders. Additionally, those here illegally are stealing identities to take jobs from American citizens and legal immigrants.

Shelli Weisberg, legislative director for ACLU Michigan, said the organization will fight the Meltzer bill in the Legislature and in court if it comes to that.
“We don’t want an Arizona-style bill. It encourages racial profiling,” Weisberg said.

She added such a law would put Michigan out of step with other states and “make us look like a police state.”

Airport Laptop Searches by Immigration Agents Subject of ACLU FOIA Request

June 12th, 2009 No comments
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The American Civil Liberties Union filed a Freedom of Information Act request regarding the US Customs and Border Protection policy permitting CBP officers to search travelers’ laptops without suspicion of wrongdoing.

CBP, which is a part of the Department of Homeland Security, developed the policy in July 2008. The CBP policy allows inspectors to search the laptops, documents and other electronic devices of those entering the United States, including US citizens.

The ACLU is concerned that these suspicionless information searches violate the Fourth Amendment privacy rights and First Amendment freedoms of speech, inquiry and association.

“These highly intrusive government searches into a traveler’s most private information, without any reasonable suspicion, are a threat to the most basic privacy rights guaranteed in the Constitution,” said Catherine Crump, staff attorney with the ACLU First Amendment Working Group.

Customs and Border Protection Agent is Suing Immigration And Customs Enforcement for Illegal Raid

April 6th, 2009 No comments
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Customs and Border Protection Officer Jim Slaughter says that Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agents violated his constitutional rights when they entered his home searching for an immigration fugitive. Jim Slaughter, who has been working for Customs and Border Protection for seven years is suing for over $2 million due to a search by ICE agents last July.

According to Mr. Slaughter’s attorney, ICE agents entered the house without a search warrant and without probable cause. Apparently, the search was a mistake, and the ICE agents intended to search a different address with a similar street name. ICE officials refused to apologize or comment on the ongoing litigation.

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