ICE Tells Undocumented Immigrant: Snitch On Others Or Get Deported

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“Well at that moment I was scared. I wanted to get out. I wanted to return to my family. I told them, 'yes,' I would be coming every month.”

 

 

An undocumented Mexican immigrant filed a lawsuit claiming Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents forced him to report other undocumented immigrants in exchange for being allowed to stay in the United States.

Carlos Rueda sued the ICE and U.S. Department of Homeland Security for $750,000 for battery, assault and false imprisonment.

In March 2017, the man was on his way to his work when ICE agents got hold of him. He was pulled over at a traffic stop in Sacramento, California.

Surprisingly, Reuda was not arrested but he was taken to an ICE office where he was placed on supervision by the department and was told to check-in and meet immigration authorities at the agency every month.   

The man abided by the order and went to meet immigration officers every month. However, in one routine check-in the agents gave him two options that left him stunned.

Agents presented him two extreme options.

The first was to snitch on other undocumented immigrants and that way he could avoid his deportation and the second one was to face deportation.

Understandably, Reuda was shocked at the options.

“Well at that moment I was scared. I wanted to get out. I wanted to return to my family. I told them, 'yes,' I would be coming every month,” he told Univision.

He went to the Moss federal building in downtown Sacramento every month. However, he later decided to stop being an informant. When he stopped giving them names, he faced retaliation.

 

“Three of the agents came behind me and began to twist my arms, hitting me. Then they put my neck on the table and told me that I needed to sign,” he said.

It didn’t end there. The man was forced by the agents to sign his own deportation papers and also deprived him of the right of an attorney. He was immediately detained and his family was told that he would be deported soon.

“They told me that if I did not sign, they were going to go after my family and that they knew where my family lived,” Reuda said.

Then three ICE agents forced him to sign a deportation paper which was in English but the man refused to sign because he isn’t fluent in English.

The agents then assaulted him and violently slammed his head on a table. They then forcibly placed his fingerprints on the paper. Luckily, his deportation order was stayed considering the false fingerprint.

“To detain and to coerce someone into signing a deportation order and to get someone to waive their right to counsel is unprecedented. Carlos has no criminal records. He’s never been arrested. He's never had any run-ins with the law enforcement of any kind,” said Reuda’s lawyer Luis Angel Reyes Savalza.

He added, “Carlos was put in an impossible situation where he had to choose between himself and his family and other immigrants.”

Banner / Thumbnail : U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Handout via REUTERS

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