Earlier this year, Chicago Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents deported the Garcia family, an Illinois family of four, using extremely disturbing tactics.In the case of Mr. Reynold Garcia, immigration agents fabricated a false story involving a friend suffering a car accident, used that friend’s cellphone to lure Mr. Garcia out of the Christian Pentecostal Center in Schaumburg, IL, and then impersonated police before taking him into custody. All of this, despite longstanding policy from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which prohibits raids at churches, schools, and other “sensitive” locations. The operation has had a traumatic and devastating effect on the family and members of that church.
Just one day before Mr. Garcia was apprehended, Ms. Karen Margarito-Pineda, Mr. Garcia’s wife, and their two children were also detained as part of a home raid in which immigration agents misrepresented themselves as police to gain access to the family’s apartment. ICE agents searched through Ms. Margarito-Pineda’s apartment and interviewed her underage children without a warrant and without consent, a clear violation of her civil rights.
In Chicago, immigrant groups and advocates have long denounced the pattern of abuse, violations of human and civil rights,and lack of accountability and transparency stemming from the Chicago ICE office, under the direction of Director Ricardo Wong.
On August 31st, CRLN, Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD), and Mijente submitted a formal request with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for a civil rights investigation into the deceptive and legally suspect tactics by which Chicago Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) deported the Garcia family. This is the second request immigrant organizations file agaist the Chicago ICE office this year. We cannot allow abuses like those perpetrated against the Garcia family to be swept under the rug.
To read the complaint and see the text messages and other documents click here. Please also SIGN and SHARE the petition to demand an investigation and immigrant protections for the Garcia family as key witnesses-victims here.