Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents are being slammed for their conduct after they were caught on video harassing a Latino man, demanding that he give them his name and identification, even though they failed to identify themselves as agents.
According to The Oregonian, Isidro Andrade-Tafolla and his wife were leaving the Washington County Courthouse on Monday morning when two agents in plain clothes approached the couple, demanding to know Andrade-Tafolla’s name and to see his identification.
The agents never identified themselves.
The male and female agents then went so far as to show Andrade-Tafolla and his wife a picture of another Latino man, insisting that the undocumented immigrant in the photo was him. Because all Latinos look alike, am I right?
Ironically (or, perhaps, sadly) enough, at the time this was taking place, a demonstration against the arrest of undocumented immigrants was just wrapping up at the courthouse.
Andrade-Tafolla is a U.S. citizen who has worked in the country for almost 20 years, according to The Oregonian.
An Oregon ACLU legal observer captured video footage of some of the interaction. In the background, a woman can be heard demanding to know whether the ICE agents had any identification on them or a warrant to conduct their business.
At any rate, the couple refutes the claim that Andrade-Tafolla is the man in the photo. Andrade-Tafolla’s wife is not having it at all, adamantly stating, “Bitch, please, that is not my husband!” She adds: “You are not part of the court, we do not know you. Please back away from my husband, please back away from our car before we call the cops.”
According to Raw Story, Andrade-Tafolla refused to give the agents his ID but readily provided his name. Still the officers attempted to argue with him about his own damn identity, and it was only when another agent drove up and confirmed that Andrade-Tafolla wasn’t the man in the photo that the agents left.
Two Oregonian lawmakers—U.S. Reps. Suzanne Bonamici and Earl Blumenauer—are now demanding a federal investigation into the two agents’ behavior, saying that they were “greatly disturbed” by Andrade-Tafolla’s treatment.
The two Democrats sent a letter to Elizabeth Godfrey, the regional supervisor for ICE Enforcement, expressing their hopes that the agency would apologize to Andrade-Tafolla. Bonamici and Blumenauer also called into question ICE tactics, including the fact that the agents did not identify themselves during the stop.
“As Oregon officials have repeatedly made clear, targeting immigration enforcement in areas near courthouses deters individuals from accessing our justice system and is contrary to the fair administration of law in Oregon,” the letter read, according to The Oregonian. “More seriously, targeting U.S. citizens on the basis of race is a clear violation of their constitutional rights.”
Of course, ICE had nothing to say about the letter from the representatives, but bullshitted its way around an excuse as to why Andrade-Tafolla was treated the way he was.
“In this instance, our officers went to a specific location seeking a particular individual and interacted with someone whom they believed resembled our arrest target,” ICE spokesperson Virginia Kice told The Oregonian. “It turned out the man was not the target and no further action was taken.”
Kice reportedly also said that while officers must identify themselves as part of their official duties, sometimes they don’t if they determine that the situation may be dangerous.
Please tell me what was so dangerous about Andrade-Tafolla and his wife?
The Oregonian reports that the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Oregon has also lashed out, slamming the interaction as a “clear case of racial profiling.”
“ICE can’t just go around stopping anyone who looks Latino and asking them to show their papers,” the Oregon ACLU said in the statement. “This is America.”
The Oregon group claims that its legal observers have witnessed at least 10 people being detained by ICE officers at the courthouse since April, according to The Oregonian.