Monday, August 11, 2008

Legal Resident Jailed Indefinitely: Accused of lying to ICE agent

Just when you think that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) could not get more outrageous they pull out a new trangression. Apparently, ICE can jail you indefinitely for “lying" even if you are here legally and even if there is no probable cause for their questioning. Maximiliano Mateo-Mendez was minding his own business in Raleigh, North Carolina when an immigration officer approached him on the street and asked him what he was doing. Unlike most law enforcement agencies which abide by a minimum standard of conduct respecting civil rights, apparently ICE has a free hand to do whatever the f*ck it wants, whenever it wants to. As reported in the North Carolina Times-News is reporting as follows:

Mateo-Mendez's case highlights the ability of immigration agents to question people on the street without the probable cause that limits other police agencies. Immigration lawyers and advocates worry this will help lead to greater levels of racial profiling and have a chilling effect on the willingness of immigrant crime victims and witnesses to talk to police and testify in court.

``To allow immigration agents to come into the federal and state courthouse and questioning people is really going to pose problems,'' said Sara Dill, a Miami-based immigration and criminal lawyer.

Dill is a co-chairwoman of the American Bar Association's committee on immigration law and said the group is studying the legal rights of clients, especially as more local law enforcement agencies work closely with federal immigration agents to deport illegal immigrants who commit crimes.

While incarcerated, Mateo-Menendez’ business has apparently suffered due to his absence. Strike another low for civil and human rights in the United States.

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