Recently I posted about a surveillance video that showed ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) racially profiling Latinos at a Baltimore 7-11. Our partners at CASA de Maryland filed a lawsuit against ICE, which resulted in an internal investigation of the agency that produced a report, released yesterday.
In the report, ICE agents acknowledge that open air raids were done simply to meet quotas. Further information from the report shows contradictory information from sworn declarations of agents involved in the 2007 raid. In plain English, ICE lied about what happened during the raid.
The Washington Post covered this story today, reporting that:
The initial account given by the agency, and supported in sworn declarations later made by some of the officers involved, was that the team had stopped at the 7-Eleven for a break when a group of Latino men approached, looking for day labor work. The officers said the men, when asked, voluntarily admitted to being in the country illegally, thus providing lawful grounds for their arrest.
This account is CLEARLY contradicted by the report that was just released, wherein agents testified that they were told by a superior “I don’t care where you get more arrests, we need more numbers”.
The Post article goes into detail about the events of the raid and the contradictory testimonies given by ICE agents.
“This is the federal government, and these are agents who took an oath to uphold the Constitution,” said Gustavo Torres, Executive Director of CASA de Maryland, the state largest advocacy group for immigrants’ rights. “Is this the America contemplated by our founders?” said Torres.
Not only are the violations during this raid horrifying, they are surely not isolated. 8 years of enforcement-only policies and stepped-up racial profiling in the post 9-11 era have lead our immigration system to this – preying on people with brown skin, just to meet a quota.
We MUST change the way our immigration enforcement system operates. This should begin with an end to workplace and home raids until comprehensive reform can be passed. Otherwise, gross human and civil rights violations will persist.