The "police" officers at the door look the part: flak jackets, tactical gear, guns, and the word POLICE emblazoned on their outfits. They even announce they are "the police."
But they are not the police.
They are U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents relying on deception to persuade community members to open their doors and allow agents into their homes without judicial warrants. It's a tactic that undermines trust in the real police.
And it violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California, the UC Irvine School of Law Immigrant Rights Clinic, and the law firm Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP filed a class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to force ICE agents to stop using the impersonation tactic and other unlawful practices during home arrests.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Osny Sorto-Vasquez Kidd, a resident of Hacienda Heights who is a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and two community organizations: the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ICIJ) and the Coalition of Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA). Following a federal court order, the lawsuit gained two classes of residents in the Southern California region, including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, who have been or are at risk of being subjected to the policies and practices challenged in the lawsuit.