ICE

A Wrongful Murder Conviction Cost Him Legal Residency Status. ICE Detains Him Anyway After Decades Imprisoned Unjustly.

A corrupt detective involved in 10 overturned convictions gives ICE an excuse to further harm an innocent man.

|

The way our current immigration enforcement system is run is inhuman and a terrible waste of taxpayer money. A fresh example of this egregious state of affairs comes out of Chicago, where Ricardo Rodriguez was taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) because he lost legal resident status after spending decades in jail for a murder that the state admits that he didn't commit.

Ice.gov

The Chicago Tribune has the story. Rodriguez was convicted of a 1995 drive-by-shooting murder because of testimony from a corrupt Chicago detective who has now had 10 different convictions related to his cases tossed because of his record of violence and coercion against witnesses. Rodriguez was never connected to the murder by any physical evidence and he has always maintained his innocence.

This week, Rodriguez finally had the case against him dropped. He should have been released from custody and gone home to his family on Wednesday. But ICE nabbed him first and is now holding him in detention.

Before being sentenced to decades in prison based on police misconduct, Rodriguez had been a lawful permanent resident. He lost that status on account of his unjust conviction, and is thus now legally liable for deportation. He has lived in the U.S. since he was a child and his family is all here.

Chicago's Cook County is the national capital of wrongful convictions; according to "a wrongful conviction database maintained by the University of Michigan, at least 159 people have been freed from prison after being convicted in Cook County"—that number is higher than the same numbers for most states. (Rodriguez has also been popped twice for pot in the past, which ought not be cause for booting him from his home country under circumstances in which the government should owe him massive compensation, not deportation.)

Cook County Judge James Obbish, who had Rodriguez released for the murder conviction this week, said that the corrupt detective, Reynaldo Guevara, "has now eliminated the possibility of being considered a credible witness in any proceeding."

Still, that detective's criminal actions laid the groundwork to allow ICE to detain and possibly deport Rodriguez. Alas, that is not uncharacteristic of the agency. As Shikha Dalmia has previously reported for Reason, ICE has aimed its enforcement powers at its critics, the agency has a long record of dubious and unjust punitive enforcement efforts, and local authorities are actively pushing back against the many ways that ICE enforcement is harming their communities.

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.

47 responses to “A Wrongful Murder Conviction Cost Him Legal Residency Status. ICE Detains Him Anyway After Decades Imprisoned Unjustly.

  1. I’m not clicking the links Doherty, so I’ll take your word for it. This certainly adds insult to injury, by not giving the guy a chance to reinstate his residency here after revoking it due to a wrongful conviction.

    Sounds like a good reason to change how we deal with rare situations like this.

    1. Rare?

      Government *is* coercion, plain and simple. Government encourages corruption by its very nature.

      Every time someone calls for more immigration control, they are really asking for national IDs, corruption, violence, and death. Ordinary people, I don’t expect them to think it through. But libertarians who claim to despise government? How they can wrap their brains around two such contradictory “principles” at the same time, I do not know.

      My idea of border control is leave it to people who own border property to enforce trespassing rules. Otherwise, GTFO.

      1. I am making $200 to $300 by simply working for just 3 hours on Facebook. It gives me an exceptionally well sum for every month. With this sum i can meet my costs effectively and easily. this work is such a great amount of simple for a client. the event that you appreciate my work then you can check my working points of interest by tapping the site join below look here more

        http://www.richdeck.com

      2. That is an anarchist view that you’re trying to pass off as libertarian. Border security is in the purview of even the most limited governments.

        1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

          This is what I do…….. http://www.onlinecareer10.com

        2. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

          This is what I do… http://www.onlinecareer10.com

      3. “Every time someone calls for more immigration control, they are really asking for national IDs, corruption, violence, and death. Ordinary people, I don’t expect them to think it through. But libertarians who claim to despise government? How they can wrap their brains around two such contradictory “principles” at the same time, I do not know.”
        I agree. There is nothing libertarian about supporting armed thugs harassing and incarcerating innocent individuals.

    2. He may be able to establish his residency although I expect his lawyers should have already started the process when it appeared that his conviction would be thrown out.

  2. So was he deported for the murder he didn’t do, or for the pot stuff he did do but shouldn’t be a crime?

    1. I should say “the murder for which the evidence of his guilt sucks donkey balls” – reserving the possibility he’s guilty but there wasn’t any believable evidence.

    2. It was the wrongful murder connection that got his legal residency status revoked, so yes, that is the reason he is being deported. This is the second article on this case I have read, Neither article says anything about pot. Can you cite any evidence that he did pot stuff, or is that charge as bogus as the murder charge.

      1. My bad, this article does mention pot charges, but their minor and old.

        1. “Minor and old” doesn’t necessarily matter when it comes to immigration and drug convictions.

          1. Surely someon can make a pedophilia joke out of this?

  3. Re the Chicago Tribune link:

    “An Error Was Encountered

    “The URI you submitted has disallowed characters.”

    1. Works for me.

  4. He should have chosen a better place to live.

  5. The link is fixed if you refresh, thanks.

  6. And apologies for initial error on that.

    1. Never apologize to these animals, Doherty. They take contrition for a sign of weakness.

  7. “”A case with a conviction and then vacating a murder conviction, I haven’t heard of that,” said Erin Cobb, a vice chair on the American Immigration Lawyers Association Chicago chapter’s board.”

    Dare we hope this kind of case is rare?

    1. Vacated murder convictions can not be that rare. I’ve worked on two of them — the only two criminal cases in which I have been involved.

      1. They were asking an immigration lawyer, so I would imagine they were asking about deporting people based on vacated convictions.

        1. Most overturned convictions were of citizens by birth. It must be quite rare to have had the bad luck to be born elsewhere, the good luck to be one of the few immigrants who gain legal permanent resident status, the bad luck to be improperly convicted, and the good luck to have that overturned – usually requiring two unlikely events, evidence surfacing even though the cops or prosecutor tried to bury it, and the courts admitting their error.

  8. “Chicago’s Cook County is the national capital of wrongful convictions; ”

    Chicago has been ruled by Democrats for 50 years

    1. I’m pretty sure it’s much longer than 50 years. 50 years ago was 1968 when Richard J Daly (the father) was at the height of his power.

      The last Republican mayor of Chicago left office in 1931. And he was considered the most corrupt mayor in the city’s history. So anything wrong with Chicago has nothing to do with party labels. The place was built on a swamp and even though they jacked up all the building and placed millions of cubic yards of fill dirt it’s still nothing but a fetid cesspool.

      1. American big-city government has always been corrupt, whichever party was in charge, but since the FDR administration most big cities have been permanently Democrat. Keep in mind why the Democrats lost two Presidential elections in the 1950’s with Adlai Stevenson, rather than having a chance to win with the much more popular Estes Kefauver – Kefauver was unacceptable to the party establishment since his fame came from investigating links between the mob and city governments, and every mob-influenced city government he uncovered was Democrat.

      2. Progressives, especially Progressive Democrats, started moving north to re-establish their plantations only using government entities like cities to push their agenda. This is seen most clearly in cities like Chicago and others that have been controlled by Progressive Democrats for decades before the Civil Rights Act and continue their vice grip today.

  9. Good article. In my line of work I see this every week these past 20 years. I try to convince resident aliens to donate to libertarian campaigns. That is one of the few things they can legally do that will make a huge difference in the way people who have turned their backs on looter dictatorships are treated in The Land of the Free.

  10. The argument isn’t with ICE, they’re just doing the job in front of them.
    Why didn’t the judge issue an order compelling the Feds to reinstate Rodriguez’ legal status, or otherwise block ICE from doing what they would do?
    And, what was his attorney thinking, or didn’t they cover this possibility in “Law Practice For Dummies”?

    1. “The argument isn’t with ICE, they’re just doing the job in front of them.”

      That is the same defense raised at Neuremburg, by Hitler’s lackeys. “Just following orders”, and orders from my conscience? My conscience rewards me with neither power nor money nor wild sex with wild women, so I am getting quite used to NOT listening to that still, small voice!

      Sorry to go “ad Hitlerium” on ya, but sometimes, if the foo shits, ya gotta wear it, dammit!!!

      Justice? What is justice?! We’re just following the letter of the law! “Procedures were followed”, end of story!

      1. This is something all of us would do well to mind. We can be coaxed into becoming sadistic authoritarians quite quickly.

        It’s easy for ICE, and indeed most police, drug warriors, etc. to (rightfully) justify to themselves that they are upholding the law that was ostensibly passed with the consent of the people. Is anyone or anything telling them differently?

        1. Their consciences (AKA plain old ethics and common sense) are telling them differently, but they are NOT listening!

          Oh, and crazy libertarians are telling them also, but when has ANYONE ever listened to US?!?!

          I am going to go cry in my beer now… AND I will play the world’s smallest fiddle for myself, as well!

      2. So you’re cool then with cops and government officials doing whatever they see fit as opposed to following the laws they are charged with enforcing?

        1. So your cool with people being framed by cops, spending decades in jail, being exonerated of that crime, and then being jailed by another brand of thugs for essentially the same crime?

        2. It’s called prosecutorial discretion. It’s used all the time, and it’s the reason we have judges and prosecutors instead of computers. This is an extreme case in that it’s such a clear decision that not doing it is unfathomable (unless they are “arresting” him in a decent hotel while they work out the paperwork, which while still unreasonable would at least be forgivable.

        3. “So you’re cool then with cops and government officials doing whatever they see fit as opposed to following the laws they are charged with enforcing?”

          Yes. Allow humans to use reason.

      3. Sounds like his lawyer(s) shit on him not ICE nor the foo bird!

        If his permanent residency status had been removed after his conviction then the lawyer should have known and worked out the issue with ICE prior to his being released from prison.

        I’m also curious how long was he detained by ICE? Usually when one of these type stories is written, they have a tendency to ignore facts. Especially when referring to Shikha Dalmia articles in support of the contention.

  11. Before being sentenced to decades in prison based on police misconduct, Rodriguez had been a lawful permanent resident. He lost that status on account of his unjust conviction, and is thus now legally liable for deportation. He has lived in the U.S. since he was a child and his family is all here.

    That’s unfortunate. But he had a couple of decades to become naturalized and he and his parents chose not to. You only acquire the absolute right to reside in the US once you become a citizen, and if you choose not to, don’t complain when shit happens.

    1. This is relevant how?

    2. How old was Rodriguez when he was charged? Perhaps his parents could have chosen to become citizens and didn’t, but as I understand it, he could not have started the naturalization process on his own until he was 18, and it’s a long process.

  12. Read the first line. Figured it was Shikah writing it.

    1. Yeah, when you reference something she write in your own article, you might as well just throw it in the trash before you file it.

  13. Is it the now-voided murder conviction, or the previous marijuana arrests, that are the actual grounds cited by ICE for his green card not being valid and him therefore being subject to deportation?

  14. This is why sanctuary cities are bad idea. I don’t know if Rodriguez was convicted in federal court, but the city of Chicago could have kept in contact with ICE throughout the whatever process it required to drop all the charges against him.

    If the ICE knew about the pending drop of charges all along and detained him anyways, then we would have a problem (although pot convictions might be grounds for deportation). That’s more of a reason for local communities should cooperate with ICE. They should help them deport criminals but keep them updated on situations like this.

    I wish Reason would stop peddling nonsense like “abolish ICE”. A nation cannot exist as an open borders society, especially a nation like ours. It’s a pipe dream. Not even Ron Paul advocated for dismantling the borders. Libertarians believe in LIMITED government, not ZERO government or anarchy. If we became isolationist but enforced our borders for the sake of national security, that’s a Ron Paul level libertarianism right there.

    People were being nabbed in bus stations when Obama was in office. Citizens can’t pick and choose what locations they’ll be arrested at, so why is so much leeway afforded to undocumented aliens? What we’re doing isn’t any different from places like Canada, who manages their immigration by making it difficult and not providing healthcare and jobs to those who don’t have citizenship. Problem solved?

  15. They’ve detained him, not deported him. Perhaps to have time to investigate the situation without his vanishing in the way deportable aliens so often do?

    Since Chicago does not typically cooperate with ICE, and when they do “cooperate” can’t really be trusted, it’s not like the ICE can just take local authorities’ word for what’s going on.

  16. I am making $85/hour telecommuting. I never imagined that it was honest to goodness yet my closest companion is acquiring $10 thousand a month by working on the web, that was truly shocking for me, she prescribed me to attempt it. simply give it a shot on the accompanying site.

    +_+_+_+_+_+_+_+_+ http://www.Jobpost3.tk

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.