Skip to comments.Vigilantes behind immigration raids?[Austin, Texas]
Posted on 05/01/2006 4:42:08 AM PDT by SwinneySwitch
As federal officials keep silent on rumors, Austin officials question whether groups impersonating officers are terrorizing residents.
With widespread reports of immigration raids in Austin multiplying and federal officials refusing to say whether the rumors are true, city and immigrant rights leaders Friday raised the possibility that vigilantes might be impersonating law enforcement officers and terrorizing immigrants and citizens.
At a City Hall news conference, they called on government officials to be open about information that might help explain the numerous raid reports sweeping Austin and the region.
"I think everyone just wants answers," Council Member Raul Alvarez said. "If it isn't the government doing it, who's to say it's not some other group that's doing this and is potentially violating the rights of our citizens?"
But a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Friday that the agency remained steadfast in its position of never commenting on its operations as a consideration of officer and public safety.
"That's just policy," Nina Pruneda said.
A written statement from the agency said individuals have the right to ask for identification if approached by a law enforcement officer and should call 911 and ask for police assistance if they are suspicious.
"To report suspicious activity to ICE, call 1-866-DHS-2ICE," the statement said.
Austin police, meanwhile, said they had not heard of reports that vigilantes might be impersonating officers.
The immigrant rights leaders who joined Alvarez and former Mayor Gus Garcia at Friday's news conference said continued reports led them to raise the possibility that vigilantes are behind the raids.
The leaders said they continued to field numerous firsthand accounts from sources that they deem credible about immigration raids at construction sites, store parking lots and in neighborhoods.
The reports have created a climate of fear among illegal immigrants who fear being arrested and separated from their families and from their children who are U.S. citizens.
"I can't have that many accounts of raids from very reliable people and then be told that nothing is happening," said the Rev. Lydia Hernandez of Manos de Cristo in Austin, which provides dental care, clothing and food to the poor.
Hernandez said some reports have described immigration agents knocking on apartment doors and taking people away.
"The question is, who's doing it," Garcia said. "We want to know who's doing it, where are they doing it, so that we can address those concerns that people have."
Garcia urged people to call police if they think that their rights are being violated.
Citizens are getting caught up in the raids, Alvarez said, relating how one citizen told of agents in an unmarked van who asked workers at a construction site for two forms of identification. Six were unable to produce IDs and were taken away, he said.
On Tuesday, while discounting the reports of raids as unfounded rumors, Mexican Consul General Jorge Guajardo also called on U.S. authorities and his office in Austin to work "to the extent possible to let the people know that these are not taking place."
Guajardo said the reports had led to severe unintended consequences. In addition to not going to work and school, some immigrants were neglecting medical care and even risking their children's health, he said.
Hernandez said many students stopped coming to her agency's English as a second language classes and others were forgoing trips there for food, clothing and other basic needs.
Who is the criminal?
These "eye witness reports" are from people who also have a cousin (it's always "a cousin") who has seen a chupacabra. Good luck on running down rumors in a Mexican community.
Whatever works to get them to leave and come back legally.
or simply fed up Citizens.
Under Title 8 Section 1325 of the U.S. Code, "Improper Entry by Alien," any citizen of any country other than the United States who:
Enters or attempts to enter the United States at any time or place other than as designated by immigration officers; or
Eludes examination or inspection by immigration officers; or
Attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the willful concealment of a material fact; has committed a federal crime.
Violations are punishable by criminal fines and imprisonment for up to six months. Repeat offenses can bring up to two years in prison. Additional civil fines may be imposed at the discretion of immigration judges, but civil fines do not negate the criminal sanctions or nature of the offense.
Impersonating law enforcement officers and terrorizing immigrants and citizens is against the law too.
"Whatever it takes"?
Even impersonating law enforcement officers and terrorizing illegal immigrants AND U.S. citizens?
Those darned vigilantes...
I'm trying to imagine exactly how they might terrorize me.
Guess the pro-illegals will have to try harder.
I'm unaffected by this article.
Taking the law into your own hands by "impersonating law enforcement officers and terrorizing immigrants and citizens" seems to me the very definition of "vigilante" - what's next, are you going to defend LYNCHINGS again?
I've seen a couple. On the TV news. Kinda looked like scraggly, mangy dogs.
Never seen a jackalope, though.
Oh, puleeze. Follow the money. No one has seen any of these round ups. It's all rumor. Now, just who do you think would start such rumors? Hmm, you don't think it might be La Raza and such?
Ain't that the truth. It's a case study in what happens when the level of ignorance in any given population hits an all time high.
Please, Have some compassion! Those were just undocumented agents doing jobs the Federal government just won't do!
Of course the rumors are not true. Federal officials would never be so crass and insensitive as to seek out and arrest someone for being in the country illegally. Why, that would simply not be politically correct. Besides, they will all soon be on a fast track to "earned citizenship."
No matter how bad it gets, I can't see the benefit of adopting the "muslim model"
Lashing out randomly is brainless.
I would concentrate on the violent criminals. If there weren't any, there would not be a problem.
I heard a rumor that the vigilantes are teaming up with the Chupacabra. It get's dark out there in the desert.
I was asking this very question last week on the Texas board. Many of my Hispanic and Asian customers were very concerned about these rumors. If 'vigilantes' were taking people away, where were they taking them to and for what reason? Paranoia will destroy ya!
Then we agree on this aspect at least : )
Well, since I am both a legal immigrant, and a naturalized citizen, I am still puzzled as to where I need to be (other than in the barrio) or to go to be shot at...
I feel neglected...
Impersonating law enforcement officers and terrorizing immigrants and citizens is against the law too.
How about you current workplace - would that terrorize you?
Yes, I know we are discussing "rumors" but some here at FR wish they weren't just "rumors" ; )
LOL - you realize the Minuteman Project is not even mentioned in the article, right?
Are the laws being enforced right now?
Answer me that and then I will tell you whether or not I support that or not.
As far as I can see however, US Laws are not being enforced. You can either enforce them all or enforce none.
There is no halfway point.
The Austin Unamerican Spaceman is a rag...
** snort **... 'illegal-alien abduction'.
They are being enforced as much as murder laws are - millions are deported ever year - unfortunately, we can't catch everyone and even murderers get away. Care to answer the question now? And keep in mind that advocating violence in not allowed on FR.
I can't imagine how...
But you raise a good point. If there are any illegals working there who are absent today, they eventually might feel "singled out" or "terrorized", as their personal outrage and "rights" level demand...
In "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" it was Simone's best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend who heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with a girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors ; )
I think my initial post was terrorists shooting up your workplace - that wouldn't concern you whatsoever?
They are being enforced as much as murder laws are?
Where is the proof of that? Where is the proof that these people (illegal immigrants of any nationality) are being deported when they are caught?
If they were, we wouldn't be having this discussion.
There is a pick and choose method of deportation. You know that and I know that. So until the Government begins to round them up and deport them. Fine the piss out of the employers that hire them (en masse), jail repeat offenders and generally treat this situation like they would a "hate crime", then you're damned right I would support this.
Someone has to do it, and if it puts enough fear into Illegals to make them go home and come back LEGALLY, then I'm all for it. Be it ICE, Local Law Enforcement or Citizens of this country finally fed up with being told their Rights as Citzens don't matter because "We need people to do jobs Americans won't do".
Whatever it takes
Lawrence, Lawrence... you had me fooled until you made this thoroughly asinine assertion. millions are deported every year ?
Have a nice day.
I will get you the stats - in the meantime, you said you would answer my first question to you.
Have a nice day too - take a look at the stats I am about to post as well.
I guess you didn't read my post in it's entirety. I most certainly did answer your question.
Of course it would. As would a 50-ton meteorite landing on it.
I however, would rather deal with reality, not speculation or rumors. Hope that's all right with you.
I'm beginning to believe that "vigilante" is not such a bad word.
Maybe they are just undocumented law enforcement officers.
"Impersonating law enforcement officers and terrorizing immigrants and citizens is against the law too."
So is smuggling your illegal butt into the U.S. too. Not to mention stealing money for healthcare, welfare and law enforcement. How many of your "cousins" are here illegally Clawrence3?
Don't know about you, but it's clear to me that the word has been hijacked.
Credibility has been added to the hijacking by reacting to its misuse.
Just as with "racist", "xenophobe", "mean-spirited", and a dozen others liberally sprinkled throughout the rhetoric of the new "communism", the "progressives".
Don't get me started on that empty word, "solidarity"...