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To: Department of Homeland Security
Tell DHS to Start a Formal Investigation on the Detention and Deportation of the Garcia Family
Almost 8 months after the disturbing detention and deportation of the Garcia family, the Chicago ICE office has yet to be held accountable for the way in which their agents gained access to Reynold, Karen and their two children.
Join us in asking for a formal investigation by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) and the office of the Inspector General (IOG) into the deceptive tactics used by the Chicago ICE office to detain and deport them. In addition, we are asking for immigrant protections for the Garcia family as key witness-victims.
Why is this important?
In January, Chicago ICE agents conducted two separate raids that led to the detention and immediate deportation of the Garcia family – Reynold Garcia, Karen Margarito-Pineda and their two children – an Illinois family living in the suburb of Palatine.
In once instance, ICE agents showed up at the Garcia family’s apartment misrepresenting themselves as local police in order to enter the property. Without Karen’s consent they searched her home and in a disturbing sequence of events immigration agents interrogated one of her underage children without a warrant or her permission, in a clear violation of their civil rights. As a result of the home raid, Karen and her children were detained and eventually deported.
Despite DHS policy that prohibits immigration raids in “sensitive” locations, including churches, less than 24hrs after detaining Reynold’s wife and children, ICE agents targeted him while he was at the Christian Pentecostal Center. In order to take Reynold into custody, immigration agents intercepted Noel Coria, Reynold and Karen’s housemate, and fabricated a false story. They took Noel’s phone and began messaging Reynold pretending to be his friend.
The messages that Reynold received said that Noel was involved in a car accident. Consequently, Reynold called Noel but another person answered the phone. This individual stated that they were local police and needed Reynold to show up at the scene of the accident. After confirming that he was at the Christian Pentecostal Center, unmarked cars arrived to pick up Reynold, insisting that they were local police officers. Reynold boarded the car with these officers to later find out that they were ICE agents and that he was being detained.
All four members of the Garcia family were deported, without the opportunity to fight their cases and denounce the egregious actions that resulted in their expulsion from the United States.