January 4, 2011 at 6:30 PM ET - DALLAS - “It's very frustrating," Lorene Turner said. She has spent hours on Facebook trying to find her granddaughter, Jakadrien. "Once I get home I am up until 3 or 4 in the morning searching and looking," Turner said. "It's all I can think about. Finding my baby."
Turner has been searching for Jakadrien since the fall of 2010, when she ran away from home. She was 14 years old and distraught over the loss of her grandfather and her parents’ divorce. Turner searched for months for a clue. "God just kept leading me," she said. "I wake up in the middle of the night and do whatever God told me to do, and I found her."
Turner said with the help of Dallas Police, she found her granddaughter in the most unexpected place - Colombia. Where she had mistakenly been deported by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in April of 2011.
"They didn't do their work," Turner said. "How do you deport a teenager and send her to Colombia without a passport, without anything?"
News 8 learned that Jakadrien somehow ended up in Houston, where she was arrested by Houston police for theft. She gave Houston police a fake name. When police in Houston ran that name, it belonged to a 22-year-old illegal immigrant from Colombia, who had warrants for her arrest. So ICE officials stepped in.
News 8 has learned ICE took the girl's fingerprints, but somehow didn't confirm her identity and deported her to Colombia, where the Colombian government gave her a work card and released her. "She talked about how they had her working in this big house cleaning all day, and how tired she was," Turner said.
Through her granddaughter’s Facebook messages, Turner says she tracked Jakadrian down. U.S. Federal authorities got an address. U.S. Embassy officials in Colombia asked police to pick her up. But that was a month ago, and the Colombian government now has her in a detention facility and won't release her, despite her family's request. "I feel like she will come home," the grandmother said with tears in her eyes. "I just need help and prayer.”
There are still many unanswered questions about how an African-American girl who speaks no Spanish is mistaken for a foreign national. Immigration officials are investigating and released a statement late Tuesday.
"ICE takes these allegations very seriously," said ICE Director of Public Affairs Brian Hale. " At the direction of [the Department of Homeland Security], ICE is fully and immediately investigating this matter in order to expeditiously determine the facts of this case."
Already criticized for what many consider to be racist legal practices against illegal immigrants, Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio has recently come under fire for allegedly botching a number of sex crime cases. Critics have found a possible pattern of sex crime victims being ignored when they are Hispanic.
12/4/11 EL MIRAGE, Ariz. (AP) — The 13-year-old girl opened the door of her home in this small city on the edge of Phoenix to encounter a man who said that his car had broken down and he needed to use the phone. Once inside, the man pummeled the teen from behind, knocking her unconscious and sexually assaulting her.
Seven months before, in an apartment two miles away, another 13-year-old girl was fondled in the middle of the night by her mother's live-in boyfriend. She woke up in her room at least twice a week to find him standing over her, claiming to be looking for her mother's cell phone.
Both cases were among more than 400 sex-crimes reported to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office during a three-year period ending in 2007 — including dozens of alleged child molestations — that were inadequately investigated and in some instances were not worked at all, according to current and former police officers familiar with the cases.
In El Mirage alone, where Arpaio's office was providing contract police services, officials discovered at least 32 reported child molestations — with victims as young as 2 years old — where the sheriff's office failed to follow through, even though suspects were known in all but six cases.
Many of the victims, said a retired El Mirage police official who reviewed the files, were children of illegal immigrants.
The botched sex-crimes investigations have served as an embarrassment to a department whose sheriff is the self-described "America's Toughest Sheriff" and a national hero to conservatives on the immigration issue.
Brian Sands, a top sheriff's official who is in charge of the potential discipline of any responsible employees, was later made available to talk about the cases. He declined to say why they weren't investigated. "There are policy violations that have occurred here," Sands said. "It's obvious, but I can't comment on who or what."
Arpaio's office was under contract to provide police services in El Mirage as the city struggled with its then dysfunctional department. After the contract ended and El Mirage was re-establishing its own police operation, the city spent a year sifting through layers of disturbingly incomplete casework.
El Mirage Detective Jerry Laird, who reviewed some the investigations, learned from a sheriff's summary of 50 to 75 cases files he picked up from Arpaio's office that an overwhelming majority of them hadn't been worked.
That meant there were no follow-up reports, no collection of additional forensic evidence and zero effort made after the initial report of the crime was taken.
Arpaio acknowledged his office had completed an internal probe into the inadequate investigations, but said, "I don't think it's right to get into it until we get to the bottom of this and see if there's disciplinary action against any employees."
A small number of cases from El Mirage were handed over to prosecutors, but the El Mirage Police Department said most were no longer viable — evidence dating as far back as 2006 had grown cold or wasn't collected in the first place, victims had either moved away or otherwise moved on.
Bill Louis, then-assistant El Mirage police chief who reviewed the files after the sheriff's contract ended, believes the decision to ignore the cases was made deliberately by supervisors in Arpaio's office — and not by individual investigators.
Louis said he believes whoever made the decision knew that illegal immigrants — who are often transient and fear the police — were unlikely to complain about the quality of investigations. He said some cases also involved families here legally.
Although a small number of El Mirage officers continued working there during the period, Arpaio brought in patrol officers and detectives and managers who ran the department.
El Mirage police files obtained by The Associated Press through public records requests establish a pattern of sex-crimes not actually being investigated after the crimes were reported to Arpaio's office.
The string of unresolved cases left Elizabeth Ditlevson, deputy director for the Arizona Coalition Against Domestic Violence, shaking her head. "My impressions were anger at the system and concern for the people whose cases weren't addressed," she said.
According to both Sands and Scott Freeman, a sheriff's official who heard complaints from then-El Mirage Police Chief Mike Frazier about the quality of the sex-crimes investigations, more than 400 cases countywide had to be reopened. Freeman told outside investigators examining alleged managerial misconduct at Arpaio's office that a number of arrests were made in the reopened cases.
In their follow-up on the case of the 13-year-old attacked by the man claiming to have a broken car, El Mirage police discovered Arpaio's office hadn't interviewed the victim.
An El Mirage detective went to the girl's home just off the city's main drag. The girl's uncle said she and her mother weren't around and took the investigator's card with a promise to ask them to call.
The mother never called back. She and her daughter's whereabouts are unknown.
The case of the molested 3-year-old was returned to El Mirage police unworked five months after the initial report. The family's beige tract home was deserted, the phone disconnected.
10/21/11 - On the night of October 20, 2010, Angel Enrique and Jesus Antonio were in bed in their small, two-bedroom apartment in the Clairmont complex in Nashville. The doors and windows were all shut and locked.
Suddenly there was a loud banging at the door and voices shouting "Police!" and "Policia!" When no one answered, the agents tried to force the door open. Scared, Jesus hid in a closet.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents began hitting objects against the bedroom windows, trying to break in. Without a search warrant and without consent, the ICE agents eventually knocked in the front door and shattered a window, shouting racial slurs and storming into the bedrooms, holding guns to their heads.
When asked if they had a warrant, one agent reportedly said, "We don't need a warrant, we're ICE," and, gesturing to his genitals, "the warrant is coming out of my balls."
The Fourth Amendment strictly prohibits warrantless intrusions into private homes and the Constitution's protections apply to both citizens and non-citizens alike. In the absence of a judicially authorized warrant, there must be voluntary and knowing consent; ICE officers forcing themselves into someone's home does not constitute consent.
The ACLU and ACLU of Tennessee this week filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of fifteen residents of the apartment complex who were subjected to this large-scale, warrantless raid by ICE agents and Metro Nashville police officers.
Among the plaintiffs are U.S. citizens, including a child detained and interrogated while playing soccer on the playground simply because of the color of his skin. Looking Latino and speaking Spanish is not enough to justify probable cause for questioning and arresting a person. Another plaintiff was carted away in handcuffs in front of his frightened and crying children.
Unfortunately, the Clairmont raid is not an isolated incident. As the Department of Homeland Security and its enforcement arm, ICE, expand their aggressive immigration enforcement policies, all too often the constitutional rights afforded to everyone living in the United States are violated. Even as ICE carries out its mission, it must act in accordance with the law and in a manner that is humane.
(Reuters) - Television 'Hulk' actor Lou Ferrigno has joined an Arizona sheriff's posse targeting illegal immigrants in the Phoenix valley area, the sheriff's office said on Wednesday.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Ferrigno, 59, a body builder who donned green makeup to star in the popular 1970s television series 'The Incredible Hulk,' was among 56 people sworn in as volunteers for an armed immigration posse.
Arpaio said the posse would work with sheriff's deputies in operations targeting smugglers and businesses suspected of employing illegal immigrants in the county, among other duties.
Arizona passed a tough law earlier this year requiring police to determine the immigration status of people they suspected were in the country illegally. Key parts were stayed by a U.S. federal judge before it came into effect in late July.
(Reporting by Tim Gaynor, editing by Peter Bohan)
Florida's Arizona-Style Immigration Bill Would Give Canadians, Europeans a Free Pass
Florida state Rep. William Snyder, the slow-drawling ex-Miami-Dade Police officer who has drafted Tallahassee's version of the hotly debated Arizona immigration bill, is adamant that his law would not lead to racial profiling.
"Race, ethnicity, and national origin cannot be used in making arrests. It's immoral, illegal, and unconstitutional," he said in a recent radio interview.
So why does his bill explicitly offer a free pass to Canadians and Western Europeans, who need only show a passport to be "presumed to be legally in the United States"?
"That language makes it clear that police are targeting only a specific minority," says Susana Barciela, policy director at the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center.
If you've somehow missed the months of heated bickering over Arizona's bill, called SB-1070, it allows Grand Canyon State cops to demand papers from anyone detained lawfully whom they have "reasonable suspicions" of being an illegal alien.
Critics ask how anything other than skin color or a Hispanic name could lead to such "reasonable suspicions." But constitutional questions aside, the bill's appeal to xenophobes has led politicos nationwide to craft their own states' imitations.
Snyder drafted his homage in August, and Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott last week pledged to support the bill if elected.
What few observers seem to have noticed, though, is a bizarre clause Snyder included on page 3. Even if an officer has "reasonable suspicions" over a person's immigration status, the bill says, a person will be "presumed to be legally in the United States" if he or she provides "a Canadian passport" or a passport from any "visa waiver country."
What are the visa waiver countries? Other than four Asian nations, all 32 other countries are in Western Europe, from France to Germany to Luxembourg.
In other words, Snyder's bill tells police to drop their "reasonable suspicions" of anyone hailing from dozens of countries full of white people.
How is that not racial profiling?
Snyder backed out of an interview with Riptide, but here's what he recently said on immigration advocate Subhash Kateel's radio show, Let's Talk About It, on 880 AM:
"What we're doing there is trying to be sensitive to Canadians. We have an enormous amount of... Canadians wintering here in Florida," he said. "That language is comfort language."
If Scott wins and Snyder's bill becomes law, we're sure the thousands of Latin Americans who spend their summers in Miami will be ever so comforted.
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio announced that he intends to put together a volunteer vigilante force to hunt undocumented persons. The announcement came by way of press release and is one long advocated for by Arpaio supporter and open neo-Nazi J.T. Ready.
According the the press release, "The Sheriff will soon implement his plan to commission a volunteer armed posse force outfitted with appropriate hardware and gear to assist in the enforcement of illegal immigration and human smuggling laws."
Assuming Sheriff Arpaio is good on his word, and given his zeal for law enforcement targeted at Latinos there's no reason to doubt him, this armed posse will be up and running alongside the U.S. Border Guard--another armed vigilante group patrolling the U.S./Mexico border. Ready's the force behind this group, which operates principally out of Pinal and Maricopa Counties.
These kinds of groups are not new to this country--we used to call them lynch mobs. Historically they enforced anti-miscengation laws and other Jim Crow-era laws that were born of fear and hatred of another visibly-different minority. They served no purpose other than to terrorize a particular group of people then, and they serve no other purpose now.
Arpaio is playing an interesting game of chicken here with state and federal authorities. He's already being sued for failing to cooperate with the grand jury that is investigating Arpaio for civil rights violations. His past actions have alienated many others in law enforcement who are trying to keep ties with the immigrant communities as part of a comprehensive policing strategy.
And now he's decided to start freelancing. It's a move that takes him dangerously close to lawlessness and one that, given his ties to racist groups within the extreme right, should make many in the right stop and take notice and ask if this is the person they want as a spokesman in their fight against illegal immigration.
Despite the obvious disconnect in employing armed vigilantes for "legitimate law enforcement" purposes, Arpaio's chumminess with racists at best creates a PR nightmare for those on the right who are really trying to sell SB 1070 as anything other than grounded in racial malice.
Author: Jessica Pieklo