ICE Officers Forging Signatures, Deploying Pre-Signed Warrants To Detain Immigrants

from the at-this-point,-only-ICE-thinks-ICE-shouldn't-be-abolished dept

[N]o warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Or whatever.

Here's ICE's much vaguer take on the Fourth Amendment, according to documents obtained by Brent Oxley, a fired ICE officer.

Internal emails and other ICE documents he obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, since reviewed by CNN, show that other officers across the five-state region where Oxley worked had improperly signed warrants on behalf of their supervisors -- especially on evenings or weekends. Some supervisors even gave their officers pre-signed blank warrants — in effect, illegally handing them the authority to begin the deportation process.

Oxley forged signatures of supervisors. Other ICE officers didn't go that far. Many simply phoned up the supervisor who was supposed to be reviewing the warrants -- you know, to ensure they were compliant with the Constitution -- and then signed them on their behalf. In all the cases reviewed by CNN, no one was following the rules.

The President claims the "crisis" at the southern border warrants a national emergency declaration. The job ICE does is, apparently, too important to be done correctly. The agency is cooking the books to make it appear as though the nation is overrun by dangerous immigrants. Simultaneously, ICE threw manpower and funding at creating a fake college so it could sweep up immigrants and visitors attempting to comply with the law.

This warrant process that can barely be called a "process" is resulting in the illegal detention of immigrants who haven't violated the law. The Fourth Amendment is supposed to limit government wrongdoing, but ICE officers appear to believe civil rights are inconveniences to be routed around. It wants to make the fun part of the job -- rounding up people and detaining them -- more efficient.

The process is detain first, ask questions later, if ever.

One ICE deportation officer in the Northwestern United States, who asked not to be named because he wasn't authorized to speak for the agency, said his supervisors were not reviewing and signing individual warrants, called I-200s, as prescribed.

"I've had two supervisors since the memo came out. Both do it different ways, neither in the way that's outlined in the policy," the officer said. "My first supervisor would just sign the I-200s; he'd leave them blank and I would fill in the name later. My current supervisor tells us to sign his name for him." Most supervisors in that office do the same, he added.

It's only after ICE has someone in custody that anyone conducts a review of the paperwork. Apparently the agency feels comfortable abusing the rights of non-citizens, even though these same protections are extended to them by the government. It's a collective shrug from ICE towards the Constitution the agency's officers are sworn to uphold.

Brent Oxley is no hero. He's not even a whistleblower. This misconduct has come to light because the union representing ICE officers is trying to get a man who forged supervisors' signatures on warrants his job back. All Oxley was trying to show was that ICE's Fourth Amendment violations are common practice. He wasn't trying to expose the agency's wrongdoing. He was simply trying to justify his own.

Filed Under: 4th amendment, blank warrants, dhs, general warrants, ice, immigrants, immigration, pre-signed warrants, rule of law


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  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 9:43am

    Something something if the law doesn't apply to everyone, then people ignore the law.

    The ends should never justify the means & when they violate the law there needs to be punishment, not QI and trying to twist the law to fit & salvage the case.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 10:31am

      Re:

      People who obey the law or snitch out those who don't are excluded from all walks of the workforce. When someone is snitched out it's usually to benefit someone else who wasn't.

      This country is rotten to the core. At least Trump pisses off the hypocrites, and he's not, to use a term here, living in a family's basement (that insult implies those with money are winners, the very mentality which gave us Trump), as many whistleblowers wind up having to do, at which point this is used to dismiss their credibility.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That Anonymous Coward (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 11:39am

        Re: Re:

        We allowed the FBI to run, maintain, & encourage the production of new child porn. The courts gave their actions cover b/c the ends justified the means... if if those means mock the very law they are charged with upholding.

        Silencing whistleblowers is supposed to be a crime, but the only ones punished are the whistleblowers. Whistleblowers don't do it to get a benefit for themselves, they know exactly how they will be degraded & the dirty tricks used to protect the image of what they are reporting.

        To pretend that they are all just trying to get ahead by selling out others who got a break they didn't get is sad.

        Prison guards boiled a man to death, they faced no charges.
        Society just wanted to ignore it & defer to a prosecutor who needs cop support more than to uphold the law & do the job.

        We are at a point where people can be murdered for sport & as long as they had a badge we'll find a way to let them have a pass.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 3:53pm

        Re: Re:

        Hahaha - this is classic

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Uriel-238 (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 2:20pm

      "...If the law doesn't apply to everyone..."

      Prosecutorial Discretion is an established practice here in the states discussed at length both here and Popehat which is only one of the ways selective enforcement is practiced in the United States.

      So we've long established before the current era the law doesn't apply to everyone. It bugs me how often the US is talked about as a nation of laws when we totally aren't.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 3:55pm

        Re: "...If the law doesn't apply to everyone..."

        And let us not forget the politicians who continuously spew the law 'n order mantra all the while violating laws with impunity.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 10:29am

    Corruption is everywhere. Corrupt people calling out corrupt people is simple opportunism, deflection, and hypocrisy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Hatton Coat, 19 Mar 2019 @ 12:59pm

    Pro-unlimited immigration, utterly biased against ICE: Techdirt

    Some supervisors even gave their officers pre-signed blank warrants — in effect, illegally handing them the authority to begin the deportation process.

    Not illegal. Common practice in bureaucracies: de facto "by direction" -- because a mere formality without any ill effects. This is NOT a usurpation of authority, it's tacit designation to trusted subordinates.

    Techdirt spends much time defending ILLEGALS, pirates and foreigners, neither of which have any actual basis or standing to complain: they're defined by that are breaking The Law.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 1:42pm

      Blah

      [N]o warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

      The line which makes it unconstitutional, and thus illegal, is literally the first line in the article.

      I have no expectations whatsoever for you, and yet I'm somehow still disappointed at the quality of what barely even qualifies as trolling. Is this really the best you can do?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Mar 2019 @ 2:29pm

      Re: Gobble gobble

      You can suck copballs through a garden hose.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Matthew Cline (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 1:17pm

    Techdirt spends much time defending ... foreigners, neither of which have any actual basis or standing to complain: they're defined by that are breaking The Law.

    Foreigners are breaking the law?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 19 Mar 2019 @ 1:35pm

    Mischaracterization:

    In all the cases reviewed by CNN, no one was following the rules.

    You mean, no one was heeding the law. We are not talking about some internal rules here at the whim of the police department. We are talking about one of the most ubiquitous articles of personal hygiene, the U.S. constitution.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 6:26pm

      Re: Mischaracterization:

      We are talking about one of the most ubiquitous articles of personal hygiene, the U.S. constitution.

      Funny (what I'm going to guess was a) slip there, given that at this point it wouldn't surprise me if they had custom 'US Constitution' toilet paper specially ordered for agency.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glenn, 19 Mar 2019 @ 4:42pm

    "Well, everyone else [in my tiny little circle of un-American zealots] was doing it!" (being a traitor to every principle upon which the US was founded is very gratifying for ICE)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 19 Mar 2019 @ 6:23pm

    'We at ICE use the law, we don't follow it.'

    Oh ICE, do you employ anyone who isn't a complete scumbag?

    Brent Oxley is no hero. He's not even a whistleblower. This misconduct has come to light because the union representing ICE officers is trying to get a man who forged supervisors' signatures on warrants his job back.

    I see the police unions have some stiff competition in the 'how low can we set the standards for those we try to keep employed' contest. The agency booted someone who committed the cardinal sin of 'getting caught', and now the good old union is doing their best to ensure that a trifling little thing like 'forging your supervisor's signature on illegal warrants' isn't enough to keep him from working there.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 19 Mar 2019 @ 9:19pm

    It's a good thing

    It's a good thing that ICE agents are above reproach. Luckily we have judicial oversight that understands how pure their motives are. Lucky us.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sok Puppette, 20 Mar 2019 @ 4:59am

    "Supervisors"???

    Wait a minute.

    So what amounts to a fucking police sergeant is AUTHORIZED to sign (what amounts to) an arrest warrant?

    And they can't even fucking handle that?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    JonC (profile), 20 Mar 2019 @ 1:37pm

    The real crisis at the southern border (and anywhere within 100 miles of a border) is the myriad violations perpetrated by ICE. Maybe we could spend however many billions Trump wants for the wall on fixing that instead.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Borg, 20 Mar 2019 @ 7:50pm

    How many categories of special people do you propose to establis

    People who have no need to obey our laws, and have all manner of get out of jail cards, with free legal help to make it stick?

    Is there any way citizens can shed their responsibilities too?

    I mean how far do you intend to stretch this nonsense? Think you could sell your concept to a 4 yr old?

    YOU and those of your ilk are presiding over the dissolution of civilized law. And that's OK I guess as long as everyone plays by the same rules.

    Which means ethnic cleansing and no rule of law at all. Still sure this was a good idea?

    A person less schooled in cheating than yourself would see the wisdom of ejecting anyone immediately who had no specific permission to be in this country. There simply was never any need to tax the brains of ICE personnel. Simple instruction then "remove everyone not supposed to be here".

    If we had simple directives like that for "rest of government" - they might get something done.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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