Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents were caught harassing a United States citizen who they falsely identified as an undocumented immigrant.
Isidro Andrade-Tafolla and his wife were leaving the Washington County Courthouse when a man and woman in plain clothes exited a nearby van, approached the couple, and asked for identification.
“They never identified themselves even when my wife and I kept asking who they were and why they wanted my information,” Andrade-Tafolla told The Oregonian.
Andrade-Tafolla, 46, said he only gave the agents his name, but refused to hand over his ID. However, he has been an American citizen since 1996 and has worked in road maintenance in Oregon for more than two decades.
The persistent agents pulled out a photo of an alleged undocumented immigrant and insisted that Andrade-Tafolla was the man in the image.
Despite the couple’s attempts to explain that the man in the photo was someone else, the agents pressed on.
As the situation escalated, more cars arrived on the scene and swarmed the couple. A man wearing an ICE vest emerged from one of the vehicles and intervened. After taking a look at the photo, he informed his colleagues that Andrade-Tafolla was not the man they were looking for.
“That’s not him, let’s get out of here,” the agent reportedly said.
The whole ordeal was captured on video by a witness.
The Oregon chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has caught wind of the situation, and they maintain that the exchange was a “clear case of racial profiling,” adding that “ICE can’t just go around stopping anyone who looks Latino and asking them to show their papers.”
At the very least, Andrade-Tafolla deserves an official apology from ICE for harassing him and nearly detaining him based on a mistaken identity.
If Andrade-Tafolla had been approached at a different time without his wife and several witnesses present, there's no telling how the encounter would have ended. ICE's racist and sneaky tactics cannot be swept under the rug. These are people's lives and civil rights at stake.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Reuters, Lucy Nicholson