Have you or a loved one been an ICE target, and now you need an attorney for a deportation hearing?
Yahoo News reported that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents posed as police officers in a ploy to deceive the family members of an undocumented immigrant who has lived in the United States for over 30 years. According to the news report, when ICE agents visited the home of Fernando and Maria Santos-Rodriguez. Maria, Fernando’s wife, did not permit the ICE agents to enter their home to search for her husband, who has been living in the United States for over three decades as an undocumented immigrant.
Maria told Yahoo News that ICE agents returned, dressed as NYPD officers, and they tricked her into providing ICE agents with information that led to the arrest of her husband. The report asserts that the ICE agents impersonated NYPD officers, accessed the apartment building through the building’s superintendent, and then lied to Maria by showing her a photo of another man who allegedly had the same name as her husband. Maria, thinking her husband was being accused of a crime he did not commit, provided the agents with her husband’s ID and his contact information. The ICE agents then tracked Mr. Santos-Rodriguez to his place of employment and placed him under arrest.
The incident made headlines when Mayor de Blasio demanded that ICE agents stop impersonating NYPD officers. In response to the “numerous reports” of simular secret immigration sting operations, Mayor Bill de Blasio sent a written complaint to ICE officials demanding that their agents stop posing as NYPD officers.
The arrest and impersonation of NYPD officers ignited outrage from several New York City officials. One candidate for the 2021 New York City mayoral election stated that the covert ICE operation was a violation of the law. The mayor candidate asserts that it is illegal for an individual to lie and state that they are a municipal police officer. The candidate also asserted that it is a crime to carry out local law enforcement as a municipal police officer without the proper legal authority.
The 34th Precinct head told city Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez that none of its officers were involved in the sting operation, nor was any approval granted to the ICE agents to allow them to pretend as NYPD officers.
Brooklyn Councilmember Carlos Menchaca, who is also the head of the immigration committee, stated that they had noticed an increase in ICE operations in the city over the past several months.
Mr. Santos-Rodriguez is a married man, and he has four children. Mr. Santos-Rodriguez is in ICE custody at the Hudson County Jail in Kearny, New Jersey. Mr. Santos-Rodriguez will likely be held until his deportation hearing at a later date.
Maria, Fernando’s wife of over 25 years, stood adjacent to other family members who have all declined to provide their names and stated that Mr. Santos-Rodriguez is a good man and not a criminal. The group of loved ones spoke out against the ICE sting operation. They stated that they were deceived into providing assistance to the ICE agent, who later arrested their household head.
At The Law Office of Alex Martinez, we believe that this ICE’s law enforcement method undermines our community’s trust in law enforcement, tears families apart, and violates constitutional rights. In many cases, ICE’s deportation tactics violate one’s right to a fair hearing in court. These enforcement tactics threaten civil liberties, undermine the unreasonable searches and seizures protections under the 4th Amendment, prevent the constitutional right and guarantee of due process, and deny individuals the constitutional right of equal protection and freedom from illegal discrimination based on a person’s race, ethnicity, and national origin.
At The Law Office of Alex Martinez, we represent clients in all types of immigration matters. Call us today at (866) 253-9689.