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    June 19, 2008

    That 5 a.m. bang on the door

    Posted by: Andoni

    4_th_amendment_graphic This post could be subtitled: “What the government is doing in our name” or “Those 287g’s you never heard about.”

    It’s 5 a.m. You are lying in bed in your home and there’s loud banging on the door. Someone shouts “Pizza delivery.” What do you do? Thinking it’s a mistake, you ignore it, but the banging continues, only now more people begin to shout, “Animal control.” Then someone tries to open a window and climb in. It’s dark outside. The person is too big for the window and stops trying.

    You are frozen with fear and the next thing you hear is “County Sheriff, open up.”

    You go to the door and open it and immediately many men push themselves into your house and start slapping you around. They have uniforms and badges. They rush through the house and round up the rest of your family and make them go outside in their night clothes and underwear. This includes your grandmother who is terminally with cancer and your sister who is 8 months pregnant. You ask the uniformed men to be gentle, but they don’t seem to care. You ask them what they want and they don’t answer.

    Finally, they say they are there because you have dogs and they aren’t licensed. You tell them you do have licenses for your two dogs and offer to produce the paperwork. They don’t care. Then they look around and then claim your refrigerator is illegal.

    They make you stand outside barefoot while thy ramsack your house searching for something which they never indicate what they are looking for.

    Then they come back outside and want you to prove you are US citizens. You tell them your social security number, but they claim it’s fake. You tell them you have a drivers license but they don’t want to see it. They drag you and your family off to the county jail where you sit for days, no attorney, no charges.

    Only several days later, the fingerprint and social security data comes back from the federal government proving you and your brother are citizens, but the rest of your family are not. You and your brother are released and the rest of your family is deported.

    After you are released you get an attorney and find out that the police had no warrant, no probable cause or anything else to come to your house in the middle of the night other than someone seeing you come and go and observing you were of Mexican descent.

    This is a true story from New Mexico folks and I heard many, many others just as bad as this one when at the ACLU membership conference in Washington DC last week.

    This type of police action is going on in community after community by local law enforcement. These out of control police vigilante units are the result of a section of the Immigration and Naturalization Act called 287 g. The original idea was to increase the manpower of federal immigration authorities by allowing the Department of Homeland Security to give special permission to local law enforcement to perform immigration law enforcement functions provided they have special training and operate under supervision of the federal authorities.

    No one knows how many local police units have been deputized under 287 g agreements because Homeland Security won’t say. It’s a secret.

    I know that there are dozens, possibly hundreds of such agreements in force throughout the country with little to no oversight. And very few citizens know or care that this is going on in our name.

    The interesting thing is that these units target Mexican looking people, they don’t target the white people who could have come from Canada or Europe. Experts believe that up to 33% of the illegal immigrants in the country come from Europe or Canada and overstay their visas. They then blend right in and seldom get challenged or caught.

    So, if you get that 5 am knock on your door and they want you to prove you are a US citizen, can you do that on the spot? You can give them your Social Security number, but there is no way for them to check that it is really your number on the spot, so if you are not white, you will be in jail for days before someone from the government proves you really are a citizen.

    There are so many things wrong with what is going on, it makes me sick to my stomach. The Fourth Amendment is being violated (it applies to all people in the United States, not just citizens), you are guilty until you can prove yourself innocent, and there is racial profiling. Furthermore, these are out of control vigilante groups with a badge. All of this stuff is dangerous folks.

    I just thought you would like to know what your government is doing in your name. We the people, we are the government, and we are responsible.

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    Comments

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Jun 19, 2008 12:31:03 PM:

      So, if you get that 5 am knock on your door and they want you to prove you are a US citizen, can you do that on the spot?

      Yup.

      It's called a passport.

      Know why I can get one? Because I am a US citizen.

      Furthermore, in a few years when the REAL ID rules are put in place over Democrat obstructionism, you'll be able to get a driver's license that has exactly the same value.

      What Andoni and his fellow ACLU enablers are attempting to do is to use emotional appeals to cover up for what is an obvious consequence of their protecting and enabling flagrant criminal behavior, including rampant identity theft, with real victims.

      Miranda first learned someone else was using his identity in 2000 when he was arrested on a warrant for unpaid traffic tickets at the border after a visit to relatives in Mexico. The 24-year-old Texas man was released after paying a $340 fine for violations he never incurred. Although his money was eventually returned, his nightmare was just beginning.

      Since then, Miranda has responded to repeated letters from the Internal Revenue Service demanding thousands of dollars in back taxes for wages paid to someone using his name and Social Security number to work at Oldham's LLC, a pork slaughterhouse in Holton. Miranda watched his once-high credit rating plummet as creditors reported unpaid bills incurred by others.

      Law enforcement raids are designed to target the people who did this to Marcos Miranda. It is beyond telling that the ACLU would rather side with the criminals than with the law enforcement protecting honest US citizens like Miranda.

      Even Europe acknowledges that illegal immigrants are engaged in criminal behavior and responds accordingly.

    1. Andoni on Jun 19, 2008 1:55:08 PM:

      NDT, I hear what you are saying but there's a problem with your reasoning.

      These vigilantes with badges were not really interested in seeing documentation or finding out who was a citizen. One brother wanted to show the police the dog licenses, they didn't want to see them. He wanted to show them his drivers license, but they didn't want to see that either. If he had had a passport, I seriously doubt they would have allowed him to produce it. I spoke with these two brothers and it was clear the police were not interested in finding out the truth on the scene.

      As for passports, do you carry your passport everywhere with you? To the gym, whenever you drive, when you out jogging? You know, just in case they stop you to ask for your papers. And passports cost around $150 now and fewer than 50% of Americans have them. If we need them to ID us as citizens, shouldn't they be free?

      In this case, the police were only interested in scaring and making an example of these people and having that word and fear spread through the community. If they were really interested in finding out who was a citizen and who was not, they would have done some background work, gotten some probable cause and gotten a warrant.

      Funny, if instead of the police, it had been a small group of dark skinned people attacking a white community for the purpose of disrupting their lives,scaring them to promote widespread fear throughout the community and making people constantly afraid, we would have another word to describe this type of activity. I'll give you a hint, it begins with T.

      The purpose of my post was to shine light on what is happening. There is no excuse to break the law in order to enforce the law.

      The discussion of national ID is a side issue.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Jun 19, 2008 8:04:00 PM:

      One brother wanted to show the police the dog licenses, they didn't want to see them. He wanted to show them his drivers license, but they didn't want to see that either.

      Of course not. None of those validate citizenship, and both of them can be easily forged.

      If he had had a passport, I seriously doubt they would have allowed him to produce it. I spoke with these two brothers and it was clear the police were not interested in finding out the truth on the scene.

      But of course, you don't know, because neither of them could prove their citizenship on the scene; you just assume it wouldn't have happened, because otherwise your narrative doesn't make any sense.

      As for passports, do you carry your passport everywhere with you? To the gym, whenever you drive, when you out jogging? You know, just in case they stop you to ask for your papers. And passports cost around $150 now and fewer than 50% of Americans have them. If we need them to ID us as citizens, shouldn't they be free?

      That's the price of stalling on REAL ID and enabling illegal immigration, Andoni. You and your Democrat allies refuse to make it easy to verify citizenship and refuse to stop people from coming to this country illegally, this is what you get.


      In this case, the police were only interested in scaring and making an example of these people and having that word and fear spread through the community.

      Yes, isn't it terrible that the police could be upsetting and making afraid those who are engaging in criminal activity.

      Funny, if instead of the police, it had been a small group of dark skinned people attacking a white community for the purpose of disrupting their lives,scaring them to promote widespread fear throughout the community and making people constantly afraid, we would have another word to describe this type of activity. I'll give you a hint, it begins with T.

      Andoni, the fact that you are comparing law enforcement enforcing the existing laws of this country against people who are engaged in criminal behavior to terrorism shows just how screwed up your values system is.

      There is no excuse to break the law in order to enforce the law.

      But you don't support enforcing the law in the first place, Andoni. Both you and the ACLU oppose immigration law, and you are attempting to browbeat and smear the police to protecting these criminal illegal immigrants.

      I notice that you sidestepped the Marcos Miranda issue. Not surprising; after all, you've made it clear that you have no problem with other people suffering so that your ideological allies get what they want. What do you care if American citizens are hurt by your coddling of criminal immigrants?

    1. Andoni on Jun 19, 2008 9:39:36 PM:

      Hey NDT. I don't know where you get your ideas about me. I'm not against a real Id and I'm not against enforcing the laws as long it is done in a lawful manner.

      My problem is that I don't think we citizens should have to carry "papers" around with us wherever we go whether that be the passport or the real Id. My idea of freedom isn't having to have your papers with you at all times.

      Also, there are criminals all around us all the time. Go to any neighborhood, rich white, middle class or poor and there is going to be illegal activity in abundance. It could be the drug trade, people not reporting all their cash income to the IRS, white collar crime of stealing from the company or bilking investors. And if the police went into everyone's home or office computer without a warrant they would find a great deal of crime. And they would be enforcing the law according to you, "making afraid those who are engaging in criminal activity" as you say.

      If the police can enter a person's home to look for illegal immigration activity (being in the US without permission) why can't they enter anyone's home to look for these other criminal activities?

      This isn't the kind of country I want to live in.

    1. Strict Scrutiny on Jun 20, 2008 12:36:33 AM:

      I'm with you, Andoni -- this is appalling. Did the ACLU people happen to mention what the remedy was? I've got my own ideas, but I'm curious if they ventured anything.

    1. Andoni on Jun 20, 2008 7:04:35 AM:

      Strict Scrutiny, the ACLU took the case for these two brothers. I was going to include this in my post but misplaced the case brief their attorney gave me, so I cannot cite the case or give a detailed accounting.

      This happened in New Mexico in 2007. The ACLU sued and there was either a settlement or the brothers won (again, I lost the paperwork on the way back from DC).

      The end result, off the top of my head, is that the Sheriff's Department had to pay court costs and attorney's fees, and most importantly they had to stop doing this kind of stuff. That is they had to start obeying the law themselves....you know warrants, et al.

      I think the brothers got a small amount of money, nothing huge, 50K or so to make the point that they were harmed.

      The ACLU has about a dozen of these kind of cases in the works, but the problem is that there are hundreds of police departments with 287 g agreements, most of whom are cutting corners. To have to fix this problem one department at a time and after the fact is a bit tedious.

      The answer is in better training and oversight. As Henry the K said, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Add a little emotion to that mix....such as the emotions that come with the topic of illegal immigration, and the result is not pretty.

      What's your solution?

    1. Chester on Jun 20, 2008 7:16:52 AM:

      One thing always amazes me when talking to conservative members of my family. It's ok for the government to "ignore" the constitution to go after criminals or to protect us; after all, if you’re not doing anything illegal, what do you have to worry about? Citizenship ids – no problem.

      But what about gun licenses? No way. The government is EVIL and will at some point in the future, break our doors down and confiscate our weapons.

      Always makes me laugh.

    1. Andoni on Jun 20, 2008 7:27:51 AM:

      Wow, Chester, that's the best comeback I've ever heard on the subject. Thanks!!

    1. Lawrence on Jun 20, 2008 11:40:56 AM:

      I really find this story lacks any punch when you get to the part of "the rest of your family are not (legal citizens). You and your brother are released and the rest of your family is deported."

      I'm curious to ask why he and his brother were not charged with aiding and abetting?

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Jun 20, 2008 11:43:08 AM:

      It's ok for the government to "ignore" the constitution to go after criminals or to protect us; after all, if you’re not doing anything illegal, what do you have to worry about? Citizenship ids – no problem.

      But what about gun licenses? No way. The government is EVIL and will at some point in the future, break our doors down and confiscate our weapons.

      Perhaps you don't understand the difference here.

      The latter concerns a right possessed by all United States citizens and guaranteed by the Constitution.

      The former concerns a criminal act carried out by non-citizens that has no Constitutional guarantee whatsoever.

      The fact that you oppose the former and support the latter does not mean that the latter receives constitutional protection and the former is deprived of it. That would be ignoring the Constitution in favor of substituting your own theories about what is "right".

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Jun 20, 2008 11:51:30 AM:

      I'm curious to ask why he and his brother were not charged with aiding and abetting?

      Because, according to Andoni and the ACLU, violating US immigration laws is not a crime.

      Again, this is nothing more than a classic example of liberals using appeals to emotion to cover up criminal activity and their support of criminals, while ignoring the real damage that these criminals do to law-abiding US citizens like Marcos Miranda.

      My problem is that I don't think we citizens should have to carry "papers" around with us wherever we go whether that be the passport or the real Id. My idea of freedom isn't having to have your papers with you at all times.

      If you enforced border security, it wouldn't be a problem. However, since you insist on allowing illegal immigrants to come into this country unchecked, that makes it necessary to carry out these sort of raids to find them.

      Along those lines:

      It could be the drug trade, people not reporting all their cash income to the IRS, white collar crime of stealing from the company or bilking investors. And if the police went into everyone's home or office computer without a warrant they would find a great deal of crime.

      All of these things have "borders", i.e. IRS audits, laws allowing companies to investigate and fire embezzlers, and SEC audits. Since there are safeguards in place to prevent crimes from happening, the police rarely if ever have to get involved to this level.

      But, since you won't allow the enforcement of immigration laws at the border, you force it to be done through methods like this inside the country. The price of your open-borders, no-enforcement mentality is to make raids like this necessary.

    1. Strict Scrutiny on Jun 20, 2008 2:29:28 PM:

      What's your solution?

      Well, it's kinda academic for, because I rarely get civil rights cases like this, but ...

      There are causes of action you can bring against law enforcement officials, state and federal, when they violate your constitutional rights.

      There's a great supreme court case called Bivens v. 6 unnamed federal officials (something like that) which had similar facts.

      My memory is a little hazy, but in that case, 6 officers from the Dept. of Tobacco & Firearms broke into a home, rounded up all the home occupants, subjected them to some kind of humiliating search while they were in their nightwear, and then, they found out it was all a big mistake. Anyway, the home occupants sued the federal government and won. This was such a precedent that these types of lawsuits are now commonly called "Bivens Actions."

      In any event, I'm glad to hear the ACLU won something for these people. What you described above is horrific.

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