LULAC Denounces ICE Agents Posing As Police Officers And Calls For Their Firing
Nation’s Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Say the Latest Incident in New York City Deceived a Wife into Unknowingly Turning in Her Husband
Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) said Monday that Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents who present themselves to the public as police officers should be terminated and prosecuted for impersonating a law enforcement official they are not.
“This latest deception caused a woman to unknowingly turn in her own husband to ICE agents even though he had committed no crime and was a law-abiding resident in the country for years,” says Ralina Cardona, LULAC National Board Member and Vice-President for the Northeast United States. “This agent and others like him doing the same thing are confusing our community and causing our people to distrust all law enforcement even when they may be witnesses to a crime or victims of one themselves. ICE is engaging in deception for the sole reason that they are out to capture anyone they can, criminal alien or not and in this case, the man they took is a husband, father and hardworking individual,” added Cardona.
The ICE agent in the latest incident was caught on a security camera wearing a jacket with the letters NYPD and POLICE. He arrived at the front door of a residence in uptown Manhattan looking for someone named Fernando Santos-Rodriguez and the woman who answered did not allow the officer into her apartment. Instead, she told him at the door her husband’s name was similar but that he was a different person. She believed the ICE agent to be a police officer not related to immigration so she provided him with information on where her husband worked. ICE then tracked him to the work location and arrested him despite the fact that the 48-year old man had no criminal record in his 30-years living in the United States.
“This careless act by ICE puts the entire community in danger,” said Lydia Guzman, Chair of the Immigration Committee on the LULAC National Board. Simply put, our communities should be able to trust local law enforcement, and to call upon them when they are victims or witnesses to crimes. ICE’s actions erode public trust of local law enforcement, even if they claim they did not participate. Not being able to call the police puts us all in danger, because crimes will go unreported, witnesses will not cooperate and the bad guys will win against public safety. This act was irresponsible and reckless,” added Guzman.
LULAC is demanding that Cy Vance, Jr., Manhattan District Attorney review this matter immediately and file applicable charges against the ICE agent. Meanwhile Santos-Rodriguez’ wife of 25 years and their four children are asking that their husband and father be released under provisions allowed by immigration laws for undocumented individuals who are witnesses to a crime and are needed to provided testimony in a court proceeding. New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio is calling for the termination of the ICE agents implicated in NYPD impersonations.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/