June 19, 2008
That 5 a.m. bang on the door
Posted by: Andoni
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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