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Officer's First Question to Immigrant in Accident: 'You Illegal?'

Officer's First Question to Immigrant in Accident: 'You Illegal?'

Postby smix » Fri May 26, 2017 7:21 pm

Officer's First Question to Immigrant in Accident: 'You Illegal?'
Alternet

URL: http://www.alternet.org/immigration/off ... ou-illegal
Category: Police
Published: May 25, 2017

Description: In Trump's America, only citizens get help from the police.
Instead of offering to help a man who had been knocked off his bicycle by a pickup truck, a Florida police officer quizzed him on his immigration status. Univision first reported the story after obtaining the officer’s body camera footage. Marcos Antonio Huete, an immigrant from Honduras living in Key West, was thrown from his bike to the sidewalk when he collided with a truck. Instead of inquiring about his injuries, the first cop to arrive at the accident scene began asking Huete about his citizenship information. “You illegal? Are you a legal citizen or no? Speak English? You got ID? Passport, visa or what?” the officer asks as he approaches Huete. The accident occurred on April 27, but Univision was only able to obtain the footage (below) in recent days. Huete called his sister, Olga, who came to the scene and took him to the hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries. Olga told Univision reporters that her brother was instructed by officers to return to the site of the accident, where he was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. He is now being held at a Miami ICE facility while he awaits deportation hearings. "Usually Monroe [County] cops did not hand over undocumented immigrants to immigration authorities, because the Cayos area was considered a sanctuary for immigrants," Willy Allen, an attorney in the area, told Telemundo. "It was the Florida Highway Patrol that [called ICE], but everything is changing with the current administration's policy on sanctuary cities." Olga told the outlet that her brother is the sole provider for his mother, niece and two daughters who are still in Honduras. According to Univision, ICE has stated that “Huete had entered the country illegally and had been deported in the past, so his chances of being released are minimal.” A recent ICE press release reports that arrests of undocumented immigrants have skyrocketed 37 percent during Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office, compared with the same period during the early days of Obama’s term. The vast majority of those arrests have been for non-violent crimes and other minor infractions. The number of immigrants without criminal records who are being taken into custody has shot up an astounding 150 percent. Huete’s story adds to the growing list of incidents that have discouraged immigrants from engaging with police for fear of being deported. A ThinkProgress survey of 2,000 Latinos in Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Phoenix released earlier this month found 44 percent reported they were “unlikely to contact police if they are targets of a crime.” Forty-five percent stated they were “unlikely to report crime” they had witnessed. “That number shoots up to about 70 percent of undocumented Latino immigrants who indicated that they would neither file a police report for being a victim nor for being a witness. Instead because ‘they fear that police officers will use this interaction as an opportunity to inquire into their immigration status or that of people they know,’” the study found.
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"Are you illegal?" A policeman's question to a Honduran who had just been run over by a car

Postby smix » Fri May 26, 2017 7:43 pm

"Are you illegal?" A policeman's question to a Honduran who had just been run over by a car
Univision

URL: http://www.univision.com/univision-news ... r-by-a-car
Category: Police
Published: May 24, 2017

Description: A 31-year-old undocumented Honduran bicyclist, Marcos Antonio Huete, was hit by a car in Key West, Florida, on his way to work. The policeman's camera shows him inquiring about the victim's immigration status before offering medical assistance. He was later detained by the Border Patrol.

honduran-bicyclist-key-west.jpg

Everything was recorded on the body cameras of the police who responded to the accident. Marcos Antonio Huete, a 31-year-old Honduran immigrant, was lying on a sidewalk next to his bicycle after being hit April 27 by a GMC Sierra pickup truck on his way to work in Key West in the Florida Keys. "You illegal? Are you a legal citizen or no? Speak English? You got ID? Passport, visa, or what? a Monroe County sheriff asked Huete insistently, according to the video. Still on the ground, Huete answers with monosyllables before using a cell phone to call his sister, who arrived at the scene soon after. Hours after the accident Huete left hospital on crutches and was sent to the Krome Detention Center near Miami, where he has spent almost a month in detention pending possible deportation. According to his sister, Olga Huete, after he was discharged from the hospital a police officer told them to return to the scene of the accident. "He did not tell us why, but we went back because my brother had not done anything. We had no reason to flee."
Fined and detained by the Border Patrol
Once there, he says he was fined $75 by a Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHP) officer for causing the accident. The incident report accuses Huete of obstructing/hindering traffic and listed his injury severity as "possible." Huete allegedly "darted out in front" of the pickup as it turned right across a marked crosswalk striking the rear tire of Huete's bicycle. The officer decided that the driver, a 45-year-old Key West woman, was not at fault. Then Border Patrol agents showed up and asked to see Huete's papers, suspecting him of being undocumented. Olga Huete says that while they don't have papers, she is outraged by what she called the lack of justice in blaming her brother after he was the victim. She said the woman driving the pickup was allowed to drive away "as if it was nothing." "The fact that we do not have papers does not mean that we do not have rights," she said. In a statement to Univision, the Border Patrol said that FHP communicated with its agents "to assist in the identification of the subject (Huete)." However, he says that such communication between the agencies is "rare." For his part, the Monroe Sheriff's Office told News 23 that it has "no official policy" to notify people who believe they may be illegally in the country.
Lack of humanity?
Although the family has contacted a lawyer to fight for Huete's stay in the country, the Honduran who worked in construction and for local restaurants to support his mother and two daughters in Honduras, is facing deportation. According to the Border Patrol, Huete has a deportation order dating back to 2010 and is being held at Krome pending arrangements being made for his removal. In addition, he faces criminal charges for having re-entered the United States after being expelled. The case has garnered attention because of the treatment Huete received from the county sheriff's agent. The video appears to show that an ambulance is only called after a second officer asks him in Spanish if he needs medical care. "Asking for immigration status to a person after being hit by a car offends human rights sensitivity and is very counterproductive for effective law enforcement," said Howard Simon, executive director of the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). In Simon's view, the first agent had an obligation to make sure Huete received proper medical care. Incidents like this undermine public confidence in the police, he added. "The moment these agents become the mass deportation force of President [Donald] Trump will be the end of any cooperation between immigrant communities in the United States and the local police," said Simon.
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