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Crime Man arrested by ICE outside Kitsap courthouse free on bail

18:01  07 december  2019
18:01  07 december  2019 Source:   kitsapsun.com

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TACOMA — Ray Garrido of the Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center was at the Northwest ICE Processing Center on Wednesday representing a Kitsap County man arrested Nov. 6 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

a building with a metal fence: The Northwest ICE Processing Center in Tacoma, Washington, on Dec. 4, 2019© Chris Henry, Kitsap Sun The Northwest ICE Processing Center in Tacoma, Washington, on Dec. 4, 2019

The man, whose family owns a restaurant in East Bremerton, was picked up by ICE at the Kitsap County Courthouse after appearing in Kitsap County District Court for driving without a license.

His wife described waiting in the car with their 4-year-old son hour after hour for his release. In the late afternoon, she learned from a courthouse employee that he had been detained, marking the sixth ICE arrest in Kitsap County since enforcement escalated earlier this fall. Five men were detained on Sept. 23.

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Garrido, speaking Friday at Kitsap's annual Conference for Human Rights, said immigration policy changes enacted by the Trump administration have greatly unsettled the local immigrant community.

"There's one word, 'fear,'" Garrido said. "Fear is sort of the overwhelming theme that's going on here."

Garrido outlined presidential executive orders and rulings by the U.S. attorney general that have narrowed eligibility for foreign-born people seeking to enter the United States.

In October, for example, President Trump imposed a requirement that immigrants be able to show within 30 days that they have health care coverage not subsidized by the government. Garrido said that's a high bar for his clients, many of whom are fleeing systemic violence in their home countries and who arrive with little or nothing.

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People fleeing gang violence or domestic violence are no longer eligible for asylum under a ruling by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. That ruling has jeopardized cases for a number of KIAC's clients, Garrido said.

"I can't tell you how many families or individuals I've worked with who have horrendous stories of what their lives were like," he said. "To me, it's unconscionable that we would not let people come and apply for asylum in our country."

Proposed fee increases would make it harder for immigrants to pursue legal avenues toward residency, work authorization and citizenship, Garrido said.

Meanwhile, the push to deport unauthorized immigrants continues.

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“We believe that ICE arrests at our courthouses deter victims and witnesses of crime from coming forward and hurt efforts to establish trusting Barbosa, who went with his girlfriend and brother to the arraignment, had already been released on bail on charges of conspiracy to traffic cocaine when he

In the court filing, Andrade Tafolla’s lawyers wrote that he “could not sleep for months” after being approached by the officers and had to take time off ICE declined to comment specifically on the filing, citing pending litigation, but told OPB that officers have “every legal right to carry out its mission on

In a policy statement issued in January 2018, ICE said enforcement activity at courthouses is safer for agents, "targeted aliens" and the public because of weapons screening. ICE says courthouse arrests are "often necessitated by the unwillingness of jurisdictions to cooperate with ICE in the transfer of custody of aliens from their prisons and jails."

Immigrant rights advocates say the increase in courthouse arrests is causing unwarranted fear and discouraging immigrants from accessing the legal system, for example, to pay a fine, file a protection order or serve as a witness. Advocates want courthouses designated as "sensitive locations," like schools or hospitals, where ICE refrains from enforcement activity, except when extreme circumstances warrant it.

Kitsap County does not coordinate with ICE on enforcing immigration laws. ICE agents have informed local law enforcement of planned operations.

A Kitsap Sun public records request to Kitsap County 911 shows "heads up" calls from ICE agents ramped up from July through September, concurrent with the Trump administration's policy to expand "expedited removal" of individuals in the country without authorization.

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There was one targeted operation on July 5, one on Aug. 6 and at least four separate details on Sept. 23, the date of the five arrests, with ICE agents focused on specific addresses in Port Orchard, Bremerton and Poulsbo. No calls from ICE were received from Jan. 1 through July 4.

Status of detainees

Of the five men arrested by ICE on Sept. 23, one received a stay of removal and is applying for his green card, one is applying for asylum and one was deported, according to Alexandra Lozano, a Tukwila-based immigration attorney representing the men.

Lozano believes her clients have grounds to challenge the arrests as unlawful because of racial profiling, but they chose not to pursue that legal path since they would not have been eligible for release from detention during the process.

Neither Lozano nor Garrido knows the status of the other two detainees.

ICE, on its website states, "ICE places a high priority on combating illegal immigration, including targeting illegal aliens with criminal records who pose a threat to public safety."

In a Q13 report on the Sept. 23 raid in Kitsap, an ICE officer stated that the arrests included "one offender with multiple criminal convictions." Two of the individuals had no prior contact with the criminal justice system and their arrests were "incidental" to the targeted operation, the ICE agent said.

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The couple was followed outside the courthouse by the agents in an unmarked van, where they asked for Andrade-Tafolla’s name and identification. Leland Baxter-Neal, an attorney at the ACLU of Oregon, said ICE ’s routine use of courthouses to arrest immigrants is unlawful and causes distrust in

He left the courthouse and returned to his 7 (m) million US dollar Upper East Side penthouse in Manhattan, where he has been under house arrest and Investors who lost billions to Madoff are furious that he has been allowed to remain free on bail while being accused of such a sweeping fraud.

One of the five detainees, Samuel Vasquez is married to a U.S. citizen, has a family and owns a landscaping company. Vasquez was held at the detention center for several days before being released. He is back at work while his green card application is being processed, Lozano said.

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Vasquez was convicted of DUI in 2006 and 2012, according to public records. In 2005, he was convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence assault charge. Lozano said Vasquez has paid his debt to society. She said the community rallied to support him when he was detained.

a group of people posing for the camera: Samuel Barojas Vasquez, pictured with his wife and children, was one of five people arrested Sept. 23, 2019, in Kitsap County by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.© Vasquez family Samuel Barojas Vasquez, pictured with his wife and children, was one of five people arrested Sept. 23, 2019, in Kitsap County by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"Any criminal history that Samuel has is very far in the past," Lozano said. "Unfortunately, as human beings, we are not perfect, but he's married to a U.S. citizen and he deserves to be here."

Inside immigration court

Inside the ICE processing center courtroom on Wednesday, Garrido and his client sat before the judge, hoping to secure the man's bail. Garrido presented letters of support from the community, as well as documentation showing three court matters involving traffic infractions had been dismissed.

The man has been in the U.S. since 2004 and has been employed primarily in the food service industry. He and his wife, who have three children ages 4 to 12, opened their restaurant in 2018. One of the children has significant disabilities and the wife is partially disabled, according to Garrido.

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Courthouse arrests , he said, “are often necessitated by the unwillingness of jurisdictions to cooperate with ICE in the transfer of custody of aliens from their prisons and jails.” Transferring an immigrant from ICE detention to a state court hearing is at the heart of the ACLU suit, which was argued in federal

Following the man's arrest, his wife was unable to operate the restaurant on her own. The family had been living in an RV, but it leaks and had become uninhabitable.

A community fundraiser generated more than $8,000 toward the family's needs. A fundraiser held recently at the shuttered restaurant also generated funds. Kitsap Community Resources helped the family find temporary housing in a hotel.

Garrido said the judge hearing the case has a reputation for high bonds. Garrido was relieved when bail was set at $7,500.

On the sidewalk outside the center, the man's wife cried with relief. "The kids were so worried," she said.

"I'm happy with what we got," Garrido said. "We'll get him out today and you've got to open the restaurant because I want to come and eat!"

As they were leaving, a white bus with bars on the windows trundled by to deliver a group of detainees to the airport for deportation.

Groups supporting immigrants

KIAC's legal services division is recognized by the U. S. Department of Justice Office of Legal Access Programs to provide low- or no-cost legal representation to foreign-born individuals and their families. Garrido is a volunteer. KIAC has 238 open cases.

The agency also provides assistance to help families assimilate, such as English tutoring, help with tax documents, donations of clothing and supplies, and referrals to other support agencies.

A recently formed organization Kitsap Advocating for Immigrant Rights & Equality (KAIRE), also provides support to immigrants in Kitsap County.

This article originally appeared on Kitsap Sun: Man arrested by ICE outside Kitsap courthouse free on bail

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