On September 17, 2017, Isidro Andrade-Tafolla was illegally detained by a group of plainclothes Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in unmarked vehicles outside the Washington County Courthouse. The agents intimidated Isidro and his wife, and they refused to identify themselves when asked who they were. Isidro is a U.S. citizen, but based only on the color of his skin, those agents violated his rights and demanded that he show his papers. We must be clear: this is racial profiling and it cannot be tolerated in a free and democratic society.
Today, we moved one step closer to justice for Isidro by filing a federal lawsuit to hold those agents accountable for their discriminatory and unlawful behavior. No member of our community should have to worry about unidentified agents attempting to kidnap them off the streets, or fear that the same could happen to their children, as Isidro has feared in the years since.
What happened to Isidro and his wife is part of a pattern of abusive and secretive tactics that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ICE have employed for far too long against communities of color, particularly Black and Latinx communities. The Trump administration has only emboldened their behavior.
The world recently saw these tactics on full display in Portland when individuals protesting the police killing of Georg Floyd were pulled into unmarked vans by unidentified agents. Those agents were later revealed to be part of a specialized DHS unit that has carried out these kinds of covert arrests against immigrant communities and communities of color for years. There is no place for this secret police in America.
Isidro's case is, unfortunately, one of many. Video footage collected by bystanders in Oregon show a man in Clackamas county being violently pulled from his car by plainclothes agents, a defense attorney being shoved by an ICE agent who refuses to produce a warrant for his client, and a family being pepper-sprayed by ICE officers. This pattern of secrecy and violence must end.
We will continue to stand against authoritarian behavior and seek justice for the harm that DHS and ICE have caused with their aggressive and abusive tactics. We will hold ICE accountable.