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Immigration Law

ICE Illegally Arrests American Citizen at Protest

Democracy Now!, June 9, 2020

"Immigrant rights advocates are sounding the alarm over the presence of ICE — that’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement — agents at some of the demonstrations. Last week, a viral video showed a group of ICE agents working with the New York City Police Department to detain a protester at a George Floyd rally in New York City. The Immigrant Defense Project said agents held the man on the ground as they pointed three guns at him. The man, who hasn’t been identified, was handcuffed and searched. He was reportedly released after agents found a military veteran’s ID on him. Immigration rights advocates say the man is a U.S. citizen of Puerto Rican descent. ... from what the man told us, he was walking down the street. He had just joined a protest of people marching down the street in the Upper West Side. All of a sudden, you know, a black SUV pulled up. Five men jumped out. And they were all plainclothes, some of them — I think three of them — with their guns drawn, one wearing a vest that said ”ICE HSI.” They threw him on the ground, basically, you know, very forcefully — he hit his head, has a big bruise there — and then started searching him illegally, as you mentioned. They took his phone out of his back pocket, tried to unlock it, but they weren’t able to. They went through his wallet, and that’s where they found his ID, as you mentioned. After 10 minutes of arresting him, detaining him, the agents were told by their supervisor to let him go, because they had no grounds to hold him. And, you know, it’s like in so many of these incidents, as we know, like, the agents walk away. The man was left there. Luckily, his health is fine. But, you know, while he doesn’t feel comfortable sharing the story for himself personally, he’s really asked us to share it widely, in the hopes that the abuse will stop and that it won’t result in more harm for others."