“I was standing here, and this is where they came down,” Jose said, pointing toward the back entrance of his building. Jose asked to only use his first name, to protect his identity.And worse yet, this arrogant illegal alien decided not only to defy ICE, but to actively interfere with the ongoing ICE operation by calling others to come and run interference on a surveillance operation.
On the morning of November 16, Jose came rushing to these apartments after he got a call from an agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
“He told me that he was here, he was trying to apprehend a suspect,” Jose recalled. “I was like, OK, I'm on my way. I'm the property manager. I'll be there shortly. And he asked me how soon, because we have six agents who are ready to enter the premises...”
“Yeah, they basically had the whole place surrounded,” Jose said, pointing out where agents’ cars were sitting in the parking lot and on the street.
Jose said he shook hands with the lead agent, then asked him for a warrant to enter and search the building. The ICE agent handed Jose some papers.
“And I was just scanning for the word judge,” Jose said. “I was making sure that it came from a court and was actually signed by a judge.”
Immigration agents often use what’s called an administrative warrant, but only a judge’s signature gives them legal permission to search private property.
Jose knew what to look for, and he handed the papers back.
“I'm sorry,” he told the agents. “In order for me to let you enter the premises, I need to see a warrant signed by a judge."
He Came Face To Face With ICE And Stopped An Arrest, by Liz Jones, KUOW, December 27, 2017
But his first thought was clear: “Call the hotline.”And despite the fact that no arrest of "Jose" has been carried out, he has definitely violated the good moral character requirement of all aliens to enter or remain in the United States. And DACA is a deferral of arrest and deportation, not a benefit program, so there is no reason that "Jose" cannot and should not be arrested. His continued presence in the United States is a threat to law enforcement operations.
“As soon as I hopped in my car, I just pulled up the website and called the 1-844 number,” Jose said.
“Hello, you’ve reached the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network ICE reporting hotline,” came the recorded message on the other end.
That call to the hotline started a chain reaction.
“I was actually on my way to work, but then I got the address and went right to the scene,” said Victoria Mena, policy director with Colectiva Legal del Pueblo. The nonprofit provides immigration legal services throughout Washington.
Mena is also a volunteer with the Washington Immigrant and Solidarity Network (WAISN), a coalition of organizations and volunteers that formed just weeks after Donald Trump’s election.
Last spring, the group launched a statewide hotline for people to report ICE activity, as well as a text message alert system to sound the alarm when necessary. Roughly 500 people now subscribe to these alerts.
When Jose called the hotline that morning, the network’s rapid response team sprang into action.
“We ended up having three attorneys there, community members there, and other organizations present,” Mena said. “So this is a clear example of how this network can really work.”
When Mena arrived at Jose’s building, she took photos of the unmarked vehicles. Within minutes, the agents left.
Jose is undocumented. He said it "rocked him to his core" to come face to face with immigration officials.
Currently, Jose has temporary permission to stay and work in the U.S. through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA...
After President Trump’s election, Jose started attending "know your rights" trainings, where he learned what do if ICE ever stopped him. That's also where he heard about the hotline.
It was a game changer for him.
Jose said he probably would not have confronted the ICE agents if not for the hotline.
“Being in my situation with DACA, I probably would have just not have put myself in that situation," Jose said. "But knowing that I had that network behind me, knowing that I had organizations here in the community that I can rely on gave me more confidence.”
12500 Tukwila International Boulevard
Seattle, WA, 98168
Phone: (206) 835-0650
Area of Responsibility: Alaska, Oregon, Washington