SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A video taken by a man remodeling a house in Oregon shows federal immigration agents arresting his co-worker, even though they acknowledged they lacked a warrant to enter the home.
“I need to see your identification … because I have reason to believe you’re not in this country legally,” an agent can be heard saying in the video.
George Cardenas, who shot the video and posted it on Facebook said the agents were in plain clothes and did not show a badge. He wasn’t sure who they were but they asked for Carlos Bolanos.
“At that point I said ‘let me check if he’s here,’ I closed the door, didn’t lock it, just closed it. I go back to where I was working and I turn around and they walked in. Never did I let them in,” Cardenas said.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it’s now investigating the Thursday incident near Beaverton, Oregon. The agency said the arrested man, later identified as Bolanos, has been released.
Spokeswoman Yasmeen Pitts O’Keefe said the matter has also been referred to watchdog groups both within ICE and in its parent department in Washington.
In a statement to KOIN 6 News, O’Keefe said:
The alien at issue has been released from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody pending further investigation regarding the circumstances of his arrest, and the matter has been referred to the ICE Officer of Professional Responsibility and the Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General. The Agency is reviewing this incident.”
Mat Dos Santos, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, said the video has enough information to show significant wrongdoing by the federal agents.
“What you see are ICE agents flagrantly violating the U.S. Constitution by entering into a home without consent without a warrant,” Dos Santos said. “ICE never has the authority to enter into a home without a warrant, unless there are very extreme circumstances.”
Cardenas repeatedly told the officers he had not invited them inside and that they were breaking the law.
“I never let you in, ma’am. I never let you in,” Cardenas said in the video.
“They want to punish other people from breaking the law but they don’t want to take account to what they’re doing,” Cardenas told KOIN 6 News.
After hearing about the incident, Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley sent a letter to ICE Friday afternoon.
KOIN 6 News Reporter Eileen Park contributed to this report