U.S. immigration agents accused of entering home, detaining man without warrant
An investigation has been launched into why agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) entered a home in Oregon on Thursday and arrested a man working there without a warrant.
In the approximately eight-minute video posted to Facebook, ICE agents are seen engaging the man — identified by Oregon authorities as Carlos Bolanos — and his co-worker George Cardenas, who posted the video. The pair were working on a remodeling project on the home.
Cardenas repeatedly asks the agents to leave and questions why they were allowed to enter without a warrant. One of the agents replies that because no one was living in the home, they did not require a warrant. Cardenas, however, tells the agents several times he never said they could enter the home and that someone does live there.
During the conversation, one of the agents tells Cardenas: “We asked to speak with him (Bolanos), and you showed us in.”
But Cardenas responds, saying he opened the door but “never told you to come in.”
Cardenas told Global News in an interview that when the agents first arrived, they asked him if he worked for a specific company, to which he answered “yes.”
“[At] that point they insisted on speaking with Carlos without ID[ing] themselves,” he said, adding that he closed the door and told the agents he would check to see if Bolanos was in the residence.
“At this point I still didn’t know who they were until they opened the door right behind me and saw Carlos [Bolanos] and said they were the police.”
WATCH: Trump’s immigration reform includes ‘three big priorities’: WH
The identities of the agents are also requested multiple times, but are never produced.
Both Cardenas and Bolanos attempt to reach the homeowner to ask them to come to the property, with the former warning the agents they would be asked to leave. Towards the end of the video, Bolanos is taken into custody while he is on his phone.
Later that day, Cardenas posted on his Facebook that Bolanos had been released from custody.
Cardenas said his friend wasn’t given a reason as to why he was arrested or released, and was told only that it was a “mistake,” with no further explanation given.
ICE spokesperson Yasmeen Pitts O’Keefe confirmed to Global News in a statement that Bolanos had been released from custody “pending further investigation regarding the circumstances of his arrest.”
She added that the matter had been referred to the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility, and the Department of Homeland Security of the Inspector General and the agency was reviewing the incident.
Bolanos was not available for comment, but NBC affiliate KGW was told by his son Andre Ruiz that his family was angered by the incident.
“It just got me mad that they did it the way they did it,” he said. “Then I was sad at the same time… I was just mad that they did it that way.”
Reaction to the incident was swift, with Oregon Sen. Diego Hernandez tweeting,: “They had no warrant, ICE is out of line.”
Sen. Jeff Merkley also called the incident “concerning” on Twitter. He included in his tweet a letter penned by him and Sen. Ron Wyden demanding answers into the incident.
“Constitutional rights don’t go away just because @ICEgov thinks someone is an immigrant,” Sen. Merkley tweeted.
The ACLU of Oregon also slammed the ICE’s actions.
The group’s legal director Mat dos Santos told Global News that the incident is both “shocking and embarrassing.”
“There were plain clothes officers engaged in what appeared to be a completely unconstitutional arrest of a man in an aggressive and harassing way,” he said. “Our federal immigration agency needs to do better.
“It’s just really important that federal immigration officers abide by the constitution at all times, that they make arrests that are both meaningful and that they keep our public safe, but they also do it in a way that is itself, safe.”
As of Saturday evening, the video had been viewed almost 800,000 times and shared by about 4,800 people.
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.