Times Picayune (Louisiana)
By Richard Webster
October 23, 2015
Louisiana deportation case based on 'racial profiling, 'corrupt police,' according to New York Times editorial
The detention and deportation of two Honduran men in rural Louisiana makes a "mockery" of President Barack Obama's "humane" approach to immigration laws and "suggests that ICE is willing to work with corrupt police departments to further racial profiling, unjust detention and other civil-rights abuses," according to a Oct. 23 New York Times editorial.
The case involves two men -- Jose Adan Fugon-Cano and Gustavo Barahona-Sanchez – who were approached by police in New Llano, a small town near the Texas border. The officers demanded that the men show them their immigration papers, despite the fact that they weren't doing anything illegal at the time. Fugon-Cano and Barahona-Sanchez were simply waiting for work outside of a motel.
When they didn't produce their papers, the police turned them over to the Border Patrol and then to Immigration and Customs Enforcement which "detained them as unauthorized immigrants who had been deported before," according to the editorial. "As the men awaited deportation for more than 140 days, the New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice, an advocacy organization, filed a civil-rights complaint on their behalf, citing the baseless arrests."
After an investigation into the incident, Megan Mack, the head of the Homeland Security Department's Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties investigated, sent an email to the director of ICE, Sarah Saldaña.
"'The men appear to have been arrested, transported and detained for an extended period of time, without any local law-enforcement interest in charging them with a crime, solely for an immigration status check,'" Mack wrote. "'It seems clear,' she added, that the arrest 'was based on their ethnicity and the way they were awaiting pickup for a job.'"
Mack's email was ignored and Fugon-Cano was deported. Barahona-Sanchez is expected to be deported imminently.
"The Louisiana case points to a fundamental flaw with the Obama 'prosecutorial discretion' policy," the editorial states. "When the federal government delegates immigration enforcement to the local police, it risks outsourcing discretion to those who have no interest in using it justly."
For more information, go to: www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com