ICE Raids New York Farm Without Warrants, Violating Fourth Amendment

Authorities in New York are up in arms after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents raided a farm and arrested a worker without any warrant.

The farm’s owner, John Collins, says that one morning he heard yelling and commotion coming from within his barn. Inside, Collins found one of his farm hands pinned against a window by unidentified, armed men.

After demanding an explanation, Collins was told that the agents represented ICE. When he asked to see the warrant allowing them to enter his property, Collins was ignored. He then told the agents that without a warrant or documentation, they had no right to be there; this is when Collins began using his phone to take photos and video.

In response, ICE agents took Collins’ phone and threw it in the road before they placed him in handcuffs and threatened him with arrest. At the same time, a farm hand, Marcial Aguilar, was handcuffed and led to the back of a vehicle. Collins was eventually uncuffed before the agents left with Aguilar.

Just like any form of law enforcement agency, ICE officers are required by the Constitution to provide a judge-issued warrant before entering private property or making an arrest. It is a blatant breach of the protections guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment, but it is only the latest in a trend of ICE audaciously violating basic constitutional and human rights laws.

In March I wrote about Novoa v. GEO Group, a federal lawsuit some Republican congressmen are hoping to shut down before it can make it to court. This lawsuit is directed at one of the largest private prison contractors in the United States and ICE’s go-to provider for detention facilities. At GEO Group’s ICE prisons, the suit alleges, detained undocumented immigrants are forced to perform manual labor for very little if any pay — in other words, slavery.

ICE’s practice of deliberately separating detained minors from their families has also persisted, despite its blatant cruelty and public criticism. However, a federal court in California recently announced that it plans to consider ordering a moratorium on this practice. But this is just one tactic employed in ICE’s apparent strategy of targeting and disrupting vulnerable families. Numerous accounts detail ICE raids designed to intercept undocumented mothers and children at places like schools.

Also troubling is the way ICE has been keen to adopt a “deport first, ask questions later” policy. In fact, ICE has been so zealously committed to this practice that it has resulted in not only the illegal detention of many American citizens but also their deportation. Even though this practice — which has resulted in more than 20,000 Americans being illegally deported since 2003 — is a serious violation of human rights and U.S. citizens’ rights, it persists.

Has ICE become the American Gestapo? Much like the Gestapo once did, ICE today targets particular groups — instead of Jews or Communists, it is Latino families — and does so by whatever means suits them. As with the New York farm raid, a Latino man can, regardless of legal status, be disappeared by ICE agents in violation of the Fourth Amendment. He could then find himself separated from his family before being dumped in a foreign country — perhaps performing slave labor in the meantime.

Those who wholeheartedly back the aggressive program of detention and deportation being carried out by ICE often cite an adherence to the letter of the law as justification — after all, these undocumented immigrants have broken the law, right? But where are these individuals’ outrage when ICE brazenly shreds the U.S. Constitution whenever it suits them? Surely a federal agency should be held to the same legal standards as women and children fleeing violence and impoverishment south of the border.

Photo Credit: ICE / Wikimedia Commons

65 comments

John J
John Jabout a month ago

thanks for sharing

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John J
John Jabout a month ago

thanks for sharing

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Jen S
Jen S4 months ago

Where is the ACLU?

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Jen S
Jen S4 months ago

When did the EGO in Chief acquire the authority to suspend the Constitution and the Bill of Rights? And what oath does ICE take to assume their
own authority? They are playing fast and loose with our country and government.

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Karen H
Karen H5 months ago

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States." That doesn't mean cherry picking, Donald.

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Janis K
Janis K5 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Leo C
Leo Custer5 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Joan E
Joan E5 months ago

Trump's sending the storm troopers to round people up outside of the law, just like his buddy Hitler. Lock them all up.

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Chad A
Chad Anderson5 months ago

What ever happened to the Constitutionalists?

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Amanda M
Amanda M5 months ago

Christina S, you're the one who equated minimum wage with slavery. I was responding by saying that those of us who work our fingers to the bone for NOTHING deserve pay, otherwise our position can be considered a violation of the 13th Amendment (the one banning slavery). While I agree that minimum wage needs to be brought up to a LIVING WAGE, I also firmly feel that those of us who are stay-at-home parents or caretakers of adult relatives deserve some form of financial compensation for what we do because that is a 24 hour/7 day a week job. Because we aren't paid, we can't afford to retire because of the years spent in unpaid work (which also means nothing going towards Social Security or retirement funds of any sort), and it's even harder to go back to a paying job because we've been considered "unemployed" and having "no marketable skills" for all those years. And yes, we DO deserve to be paid because when those jobs are "outsourced" to other people, THOSE people get paid. Yet when we do those jobs, we're not worth a plugged nickel. Double standards much, society?

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