Saturday, September 13, 2008

Additional News Stories Of Immigrants Afraid Of Police

Additional stories about immigrants afraid to report crimes to the police, which is of course not good for public safety.

  • Maria Sacchetti, Troubling Link In Domestic Violence Cases, Boston Globe, Sept. 12, 2008. One domestic violence victim suffered abuse for two years and was too afraid to call police. In Massachusetts, immigrants are around 14% of the population, but 26% of the domestic violence deaths from 1997 to 2006. Immigration authorities encourage reporting crimes, but immigrants are afraid.
  • Emerson Clarridge, Man Pleads For Help In Finding Son's Attackers, Newsday, April 27, 2008: a detective believes that the investigation is hampered by fear among immigrants that police will turn witnesses over for deportation.
  • Dan Morse, Police Worry Immigrants' Help In Cases Will Dry Up, Washington Post, April 15, 2008: although police cracked one murder case with the help of an undocumented immigrant witness, police worry that immigrants might not help solve crimes if they fear police will turn them over for deportation.
As previously reported on this blog, in New Jersey, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Justice seek to deport a New Jersey immigrant who called 911 to report a crime to the local police, who then turned the informant over to be deported. Immigrants' fear that reporting crimes could lead to deportation should be addressed -- at the very least, by ensuring that people who call the police to report crimes are not turned over for deportation and that if they are, department heads will agree to drop those deportation cases (unlike what ICE in New Jersey and the Justice Department is doing in one New Jersey immigrant's case).

Monday, September 01, 2008

ICE Raid Violated ICE Policy By Entering Campus Housing

Leslie Berestein reported on May 23, 2008 in Agency Cites Mistake in Raid at UCSD Complex in the San Diego Union-Tribune that ICE agents made a mistake in May when they entered UCSD student housing to search the apartment of someone living there without first contacting campus police.

ICE has a policy of alerting campus police before entering university housing or off-campus university housing. They went to the housing of Jorge Narvaez, who pointed out that the ICE should have known they were in student housing -- there are signs in the front that show it is university housing.

An example of ICE agents going to people's houses and violating rules or policies. Is it time to punish illegal raids and searches by suppressing evidence in immigration court? Or to terminate cases where ICE agents violate the law, rules, or policies?

ICE Offers Inadequate Protections for Hurricane-Threatened Residents

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has not given enough protections to assure people who need to evacuate from hurricane-threatened areas that they can evacuate or seek shelter without risking the threat of deportation. A volunteer Lucas Diaz told an AFP reporter that ICE has given written assurances that the immigration status of people evacuating the area will not be challenged. There is a lack of trust, though, in the immigrant community. Diaz also pointed out that ICE's statement does not protect immigrants against actions taken by others, such as if shelter workers decide to call up ICE.

There is also no indication in the reports that ICE will take steps to correct any incorrectly-started deportation case. If someone in ICE improperly starts a deportation case against someone evacuating the Gulf area, ICE should now promise that it will stop that case because it was improperly begun.

If all that ICE is offering is a promise that it will try not to break its policy, that would not build confidence nearly as much as promising a way to stop improperly-begun deportation cases.

If this does happen to you, you should file a suppression motion and a motion to terminate in immigration court, pointing out that ICE has essentially violated its policies and regulations. Don't be surprised, though, if ICE counsel fights you in court and tries to deport people who were improperly reported for deportation while evacuating the Gulf area.