Immigration Raids Circumventing the Fourth Amendment

Edward Schumacher-Matos writes in today's Washington Post that Immigration and Customs Enforcement teams conducting immigration rates are routinely violating the Fourth Amendment. After discussing a wrong-door immigration raid on a former Marine and his wife in Arizona, Schumacher-Matos explains:

It would be easy to dismiss the episode as isolated, but 100 seven-member teams of ICE agents across the country are regularly making similar house calls, usually in the pre-dawn hours, in SWAT-like raids with shotguns and automatic rifles, sometimes crawling through open windows. In place of search warrants issued by a judge, ICE agents carry administrative warrants issued by one of their own officials that require that they "knock and talk" to gain entry into a home, a policy often abused...

The raids are supposed to be aimed at fugitive illegal immigrants who have committed criminal acts, but it appears they're being used to rope up non-criminal undocumented workers (illegal immigration is a violation of civil law, not criminal law).

The "knock and talk" warrants require the police to get permission before entering. But that didn't happen in the wrong-door example Schumacher-Matos used to lead off his column. And it doesn't appear to be happening elsewhere, either.

The Cardozo study examined 700 arrests between 2006 and 2008 on Long Island and in New Jersey and found that agents said they had not received informed consent to enter the homes in 86 percent of the Long Island cases and 24 percent of the New Jersey ones. Conflicting information in the New Jersey arrest records suggests that the reported consent there was often fabricated or misreported, the Cardozo study says.

Two-thirds of the arrests were happenstance -- they were mostly of Latinos whose only crime was a civil one of working here illegally. "The high percentage of collateral arrests is consistent with allegations that ICE agents are using home raids for purported targets as a pretext to enter homes" and arrest as many people as they can to meet quotas that in 2006 were increased eightfold to 1,000 a year per team, the report said.

Violations were so flagrant on Long Island that local police withdrew their support and accused ICE of being reckless and dangerous, and of undermining a relationship of trust with the Latino community that had been helping to reduce crime. Mounting evidence elsewhere suggests that the raids are out of control nationally.

It looks as if we can add "illegal immigration" to the growing list of issues so critical, they deserve exceptions to the Fourth Amendment.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • hmm||

    I hate immigration rates. (line 2)

  • the innominate one||

    How about a constitutional amendment clearly making the castle doctrine a constitutional right? That would stop a lot of wrong door raids of any kind, I bet.

  • Anonymous||

    How about a constitutional amendment clearly making the castle doctrine a constitutional right?

    You'd have to convince the courts property rights are worth protecting, first.

  • ||

    These politicians voted Against the Nathan Deal Amendment, that would Prevent Health Care Benefits to Illegal Aliens. Simply put--it's not their BLOODY MONEY! So what! Do they care if taxpayers have to foot the behemoth bill, for anybody who snubs our laws and enters a sovereign country called America? The nationwide parasites are --CHEAP LABOR--businesses who could care less, because they pile up enormous profits. The corporate hierarchy have been having a field day--FOR DECADES. A foreign national gets hurt, their service manager or whoever the underling is, drives the maimed person and relinquishes any responsibility by dumping them on the emergency hospital entrance way. BINGO! nothing to pay!

  • ||

    It looks as if we can add "illegal immigration" to the growing list of exemptions to the Fourth Amendment.

    Silly Radley, as far as a lot of anti-immigration people are concerned, wetbacks don't have rights.

    How about a constitutional amendment clearly making the castle doctrine a constitutional right?

    And then the pigs will just come in with even more overwhelming force, for "safety".

  • the innominate one||

    Epi - good point

    Anonymous - non sequitur?

  • Anonymous||

    Anonymous - non sequitur?

    I know, for over a century and a half courts have shredded the Constitution and the rights it's founded on. But I can dream, right?

  • qwerty||

    It looks as if we can add "illegal immigration" to the growing list of exemptions to the Fourth Amendment.

    Would that be so terrible? As an example, prisoners are exempt from the 4th amendment. A warden can search a cell without a warrant. In addition, people who have escaped from jail are not protected by the 4th amendment either. For instance, the police can enter their house and rearrest them without a warrant to enter the house. The justification is that since they ought to be in jail at that moment, giving them 4th amendment protection would be a reward for illegal behavior. The same reasoning can be applied to illegal immigrants (but not legal immigrants).

  • ||

    Does this surprise anyone?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    non-criminal undocumented workers (illegal immigration is a violation of civil law, not criminal law).

    Which still makes the violater a criminal.

  • hmm||

    I wonder how long until ICE has its FBI moments with a standoff.

  • ||

    For instance, the police can enter their house and rearrest them without a warrant to enter the house.

    Nonsense. Unless the police see the escaped prisoner flee into the house while in pursuit, they cannot simply enter a house they suspect is hiding him without a warrant.

    The same reasoning can be applied to illegal immigrants

    Wrong again. Even if your reasoning was right, which it isn't, that would not be true. In the case of the escaped prisoner, there is the minor difference in that he has actually been, you know, convicted of a crime.

    (but not legal immigrants)

    Thanks for making that clear, I'm sure we'd have all been confused otherwise.

  • the innominate one||

    Anonymous - what I meant was, a constitutional amendment plainly stating the castle doctrine wouldn't need to rely on convincing the courts of anything. The courts aren't involved in passing or approving amendments.

  • ||

    Just how bad do you have to fuck up in law enforcement for the local P.D. to quit working with you?

  • ||

    Which still makes the violater a criminal.

    No it doesn't. Not all violations of the law make you a criminal. If you get caught for speeding are you a criminal?

    If you haven't violated a criminal statute, you're not a criminal.

  • Anonymous||

    The courts aren't involved in passing or approving amendments.

    Right; they're involved in ignoring the constitution in order to convict you of wounding a burgler.

  • the innominate one||

    John, there's no need to post anonymously, you know. An idiot by any other name is still an idiot.

  • Pink Cosmotarian||

    "Raaaaaacist!"

  • 24AheadDotCom||

    Here's a Radley Balko joke:
    * [silence]
    * Who's there?
    * [silence]
    * [blam! blam! blam!]

    And, here's a "libertarians who support illegal activity" joke:
    * [silence]
    * Who's there?
    * "We're a consortium of business groups and we also support illegal activity because we're corrupt and we want to give you money to help us make more money. Yes, we're seeking MassiveSubsidies, we're encouraging illegal activity, we're encouraging PoliticalCorruption, we're supporting a foreign government obtaining PoliticalPower inside the U.S. and all the rest, but we've got a nice check for your group."
    * "Come on in!"

  • <a/||

    Would that be so terrible?

    Not really. I wouldn't mind adding a provision allowing us to deport their sympathizers along with the illegals, either.

  • ||

    There's a surreal aspect to your attempts at comedy that I find intriguing, LoneBoner.

  • the innominate one||

    Shut the fuck up, LonelyWacker. And no more of your juvenile ad homs, either.

  • ||

    Never forget, illegal immigrants aren't entitled to basic human rights because they aren't humans. Right?

  • ||

    Enough with the LIE that the 'undocumented workers' are not criminals.

    Identity theft is a crime. All workers must provide a SSN. An 'undocumented worker' who gives a false SSN is committing a crime.
    If the criminal did not provide a SSN, then his employer is a criminal and the 'undocumented' is an active accessory. They are also committing tax evasion (a crime).

    If the 'undocumented worker' is not working, but spunging off the system, they have to provide a SSN to register for benefits (again identify theft) not to mention theft of services.


    I wish that as much 'civil liberty' knashing of teeth and hand wringing was spent upon the real victims of the 'undocumented' criminal's actions -- people whose SSN are used by these people and those people killed on our highways by illegals who should have been sent home.

  • hmm||

    The cake is a LIE!

  • Bingo||

    Oh my god, I saw an ICE team at a gas station the other day at like 1:30AM when I was buying some last minute beers. They were literally decked head-to-toe in SWAT garb, complete with body armor, and grabbing handfuls of energy drinks. These guys act like a bunch of power tripping adrenaline junkies, with about the maturity of a high school football team. Definitely not a group of people that should be wielding arbitrary authority like they do.

  • ||

    Damn, Bingo, you should have fucked with them. If I saw an ICE team all decked out like that, I would have called them every name in the book. What could they possibly do? Deport me?

    Of course, the possibility of not getting those last minute beers might persuade me to say nothing. Damn my priorities.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    What could they possibly do? Deport me?

    We haven't seen your long-form birth certificate. You might be an IllegalImmigrant.

    Oh, and not cool ICE, not cool.

  • zoltan||

    Not really. I wouldn't mind adding a provision allowing us to deport their sympathizers along with the illegals, either.


    I was never one for the First Amendment either.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    There's a surreal aspect to your attempts at comedy that I find intriguing, LoneBoner.

    I can't tell where the punchlines are.

  • edna||

    I can't tell where the punchlines are.

    that's a jonestown joke. wrong thread.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    lol, good one, edna.

  • Mike Laursen||

    Stick to humorlessness, Lonewacko. You can't pull off humor.

  • Fluffy||

    Gilbert Martin and the other fucking dumbass who posted the "Damn right illegal immigrants are criminals!" stuff are too stupid to realize that by doing so they're undermining the justification for the practice Radley is attacking.

    The ICE is able to conduct these warrantless arrests and searches precisely because of the argument that this is a civil and not a criminal violation. If the State agreed with you about illegal immigrants, they'd need actual judicial warrants.

    Personally, I believe that any violation that can result in your being brought to a jail is a "criminal" violation, and should require a judicial warrant. The entire "it's a civil violation!" nonsense is just garbage invented to avoid the 4th amendment and jury trials and every other constitutional protection persons accused of a crime are supposed to have in this country.

    If the state can take away your liberty or property as a result of the case, the state should be required to consider the matter part of criminal law and should be required to supply due process and all constitutional protections associated with criminal law.

  • ||

    Just how bad do you have to fuck up in law enforcement for the local P.D. to quit working with you?

    [Flashes two thumbs up to BB] Shitloads?

  • ||

    There's a surreal aspect to your attempts at comedy that I find intriguing, LoneBoner.

    I can't tell where the punchlines are.


    You actually still read the moron's comments? Do you jab knitting needles into your thighs as well?

  • BakedPenguin||

    You actually still read the moron's comments?



    How many people Googled Miss South Carolina's speech? Granted, she's at least good looking, but I have to imagine most of them did so more for the "train wreck" aspect rather than her cuteness.

  • Xeones||

    I, for one, still read LoneWacko's delicately stale-semen-and-hot-dog-scented crayon scribblings. I find it useful to be reminded that there are truly shitty, hateful people in the world, lest i go through life with glasses too rose-tinted, and through my blissful inaction de facto endorse them should they get hold of any actual influence. Shut the fuck up, LoneWacko.

  • 24AheadDotCom ||

    Xeones,
    I really wish you would come to my cite more. I wager you would find us more alike than you think. In fact, I am willing to send you pictures of me blowing myself if you will come visit my cite.

    Deal?

  • ||

    "The raids are supposed to be aimed at fugitive illegal immigrants who have committed criminal acts, but it appears they're being used to rope up non-criminal undocumented workers (illegal immigration is a violation of civil law, not criminal law)."

    That depends. If someone enters the country illegally and are caught (assuming no amnesty or other issues), the general remedy is deportation. This is a civi/administrative law violation.

    However, if such a person re-enters the country, they can be charged with illegal re-entry. Many times the decision about whether to prosecute on such a charge is discretionary. The feds can leave the matter as an administrative/immigration matter, or they could charge someone with a federal crime.

    If someone has been ordered deported as the result of a previous criminal offense (which could be as little as yelling at a significant other - a domestic violence 'offense') and they then re-enter the country, they would face serious jail time.

    That said, Radley's point is a good one - immigration enforcement is being used to do an end-around on the 4th Amendment. That is a troubling development.

  • ||

    lest i go through life with glasses too rose-tinted,

    I think you are safe on this one.

  • ||

    How about this case?

  • ||

    i thought the fed was set to hold immigration rates steady?



    for all the people who don't understand why this is wrong, it's this simple: they don't always get the right effing door! you can argue all day about whether illegals merit 4th amendment protection, but there is no question everybody else does! dumbasses! i hope they kick in your door next!

  • Bri||

    How about instead of trying to deport them (they'll come back hell or high water), the IRS forces them to pay taxes just like the rest of us? And go after the employers such as farmers who are paying their workers under the table?

    That's one viable solution to this problem, and I think it's win-win.

  • ||

    Identity theft is a crime. All workers must provide a SSN. Identity theft is a crime. All workers must provide a SSN.

    Wouldn't it be great if there were some other number that 'undocumented workers' could use where an SSN is required? Perhaps there could be some sort of Individual Taxpayer Identification Number that would suffice for all purposes of the IRS and others. It would be even better if these so-called ITINs could be distinguished from SSNs so someone could not receive government benefits that require an SSN. They could be used only to pay taxes.

    Then there would be no identity theft, and the collateral damage to legal residents would be taken care of. That would be great.

  • Spartacus||

    Hmm, let's see...

    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no 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."

    Nope, I don't see the word "citizen" or "legal immigrant" in there anywhere. I guess the argument must be that illegal immigrants aren't actually "people".

    Continuing...

    "...nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

    It says "any person" again. I guess those goddamn Messicans aren't really people after all.

  • B||

    "...non-criminal undocumented workers..."

    Man, spare us the bullshit "it is a civil law" nonsense. If you are here illegally, it is obvious you are BREAKING THE FUCKING LAW. Non-criminal undocumented workers? Did you borrow that from the same Dept. of Euphemisms in the Obama administration that came up with "man caused disasters"? What is with this site and intellectual property theft and illegal immigration ? I get so sick and tired of the rationalizations used on this site to condone the violation of American law. These fucking people are here illegally. If they don't like having their asses thrown in jail, don't break the fucking law.
    And we could also do without the stupid fucking assholes on this site, include the stupid fuck posting directly above me, who play the fucking race card every time this issue comes up. The same fuckers who heap scorn on the left for playing the race card every chance they get also seem to be the same hypocritical fucks who pull it out of the deck every time ILLEGAL immigration is brought up.

  • ||

    I get so sick and tired of the rationalizations used on this site to condone the violation of American law. These fucking people are here illegally.

    I'm curious... Would you have taken the same position in 1855 about the Fugitive Slave Law?

    If not, why not?

    If so, is there any law that might be passed that you would think it would be okay to circumvent?

  • hmm||

  • Elemenope||

    B's ancestors are clearly all Native Americans. I mean, if that were the case, then he'd have a right to be both morally haughty and damn pissed.

    But woe betide him if his moral high horse has some rotten legs in the form of illegal immigrants in his family's past....

  • Paul||

    How about a constitutional amendment clearly making the castle doctrine a constitutional right? That would stop a lot of wrong door raids of any kind, I bet.

    Combined with a strong second amendment, I'd agree. Without a strong second amendment, the Castle Doctrine is reduced to you using harsh words when the bad guys are crawling through your window.

  • Elemenope||

    Combined with a strong second amendment, I'd agree. Without a strong second amendment, the Castle Doctrine is reduced to you using harsh words when the bad guys are crawling through your window.

    You can also hit them with kitchenware.

  • Paul||

    You can also hit them with kitchenware.

    Whisk them to death? Throw tupperware? Threaten them with a William Sonoma Deluxe Cherry Pitter...mmmmmenacingly?

    Actually, I'm liking the visuals.

  • Abdul||

    (illegal immigration is a violation of civil law, not criminal law).

    Sorry, Radley, but illegal immigration is a crime. 8 U.S.C. 1325. As i understand it, this section is rarely enforced because deportation is the preferred solution, but it's still a crime.

  • ||

    Wow dude, you have to admit that is like WAY cool!

    RT
    www.anon-web-tools.us.tc

  • Elemenope||

    Whisk them to death? Throw tupperware? Threaten them with a William Sonoma Deluxe Cherry Pitter...mmmmmenacingly?

    You have to use the heavy pointy bits.

  • ||

    If only Obama knew...

  • ||

    If only Obama knew...

    Speaking of which, isn't one his relatives here illegally? Whatever became of that?

  • ||

    She's still here - Boston, I think. The government should have no trouble finding her since they (we) are paying for her housing. Goose, gander, etc.

  • wizard of oz books||

    With many new announcement about the wizard of oz movies in the news, you might want to consider starting to obtain Wizard of Oz book series either as collectible or investment at RareOzBooks.com.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement