They went after people without warrants.
New surveillance video released show some of the tactics Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents are using during immigration raids. The video documents an immigration raid at View Park Automotive in South Los Angeles on Sept. 25, according to American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Of Southern California. Agents had a warrant to arrest the owner of the repair shop. However, they also arrested several men working there assuming they were undocumented. Officials did not have warrants for those arrests.
The ICE agents raided the business while carrying assault rifles and disguised as police officers, wearing vests that had the word “POLICE” on them. It isn’t illegal for immigration officials to impersonate police officers. Los Angeles and California officials have tried to stop immigration officials from using this tactic.
Now, with the video as evidence, the ACLU is suing over what they claim were unlawful arrests. Juan Hernandez is one of those who was taken into custody, and he is challenging the constitutionality of his warrantless arrest.
“Although you wouldn’t know it from the video, the law is clear: ICE is bound to respect its own regulations and the Constitution in the course of its operations,” Eva Bitran, a staff attorney at the ACLU of Southern California, said in a statement. “ICE’s arrest-first-ask-questions-later approach to enforcement is not only unlawful, it has real, painful consequences for communities and families like Mr. Hernandez’s.”
Officials in the city and county of Los Angeles have tried to persuade ICE agents to stop impersonating police officers for the safety of the greater community. Political leaders fear that ICE agents posing as police will undermine the relationship police departments have with the communities they serve.