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.

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

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  1. 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.

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