KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- A Facebook live video showing ICE agents breaking a car window and pulling Florencio Millan-Vazquez from his car and arresting him in front of his girlfriend and young children, sparked a tweet from congressman Emmanuel Cleaver.
This video is very concerning as to the traumatization of children and the reasonable use of force. I have already reached out to all parties to better understand what is going on.https://t.co/61TYvCoKE7— Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (@repcleaver) July 23, 2019
In an interview, Cleaver said the immigration system needs to be repaired, but the law is broken itself.
“I don’t think that we need to apologize for the fact that the person arrested was in the country illegally and had been deported or self-deported and returned to break the law,” Cleaver said.
KCTV5 News talked to Shawn Neudauer, a spokesman for ICE who said they were targeting Millian- Vazquez. According to homeland security, this was the third time he’d entered the U.S. illegally.
In 2011, a judge granted Millian-Vazquez voluntary departure. Days after returning to Mexico, Millian-Vazquez tried to re-enter the border using an assumed name and was immediately deported.
On Monday, Millian-Vazquez was arrested outside his home in Kansas City, Missouri. As for their agents breaking his window to arrest him, Neudauer said in part, “ICE officers were left with no other choice.”
“After attempting to negotiate with Millian-Vazquez for about 25 minutes, the ICE officers were left with no other choice than make the arrest by physically removing him from the vehicle.”
“They say they have a warrant for Flo’s arrest. I asked him to prove it to me and he says, ‘I don’t have to show you anything,’” Cheyenne Hoyt, partner arrested by ICE, said. “All we asked for was a warrant and he would have left, but since you refused to give us that warrant, that’s our right to stay in the car, that’s our property.”
According to Title 8 United States Code Section 1357, immigration officers shall have power without warrant. Neudauer said the agents use administrative warrants and they do not need a judge to sign it.
“There is really no judicial warrant in this process and the officers clearly told him it was a warrantless arrest and they recognized him.” Nancy Z. Olivares, attorney, said. “What’s not clear to me is whether or not they actually had identified the person whether they know who he was and how they knew who he was.”
During a rally Tuesday, immigration advocate groups called on Kansas City police to change its policy concerning helping ICE.
“We are here to fight for accountability. Kansas City Police Department has gone back on their word not to cooperate with ICE,” Tyler French, Service Employees International Union, Local 1, said.
The other day, police told KCTV5 News, “When called, we will respond to back up an officer in this capacity, to ensure their safety and the safety of those around the incident. Many times other officers/agents may be by themselves and find themselves in the situation where they need assistance. That was the case in this response today.”
KCTV5 News spoke with another immigration attorney who has no ties to this case. She said a car has a lower expectation of privacy and the rules for a car and a home are not exactly the same.
However, nothing in the statue allows ICE to break a window to make an arrest, claiming it’s warrantless after they’ve said they have a warrant.
In a blog posted by the Kansas City Police Chief, he says in part, "The call that came in from ICE agents asking for help on July 22 was entered into our dispatch system just like any call from the public, and officers responded as they would to any other call. We regularly assist outside agencies working in our city who ask for back-up, from sheriff’s deputies to federal agents. We don’t get to decide what calls we respond to. We just go. That’s our duty."