Tulsa ICE Officials Use 16-year-old Son as Bait to Trap Undocumented Family

LatinaLista — Oklahoma has become one of the most punitive states in targeting undocumented immigrants.

Putting into effect House Bill 1804 on November 1, Oklahoma’s state legislature wants to make life as difficult as possible for undocumented immigrants.
The rationale is to drive these people out of the state. It seems though the new law isn’t working fast enough for some officials.
So, they’ve stooped to operating their own version of a sting operation using a 16-year-old son as bait for his parents.


Oklahoma’s House Bill 1804 makes it “illegal to knowingly transport undocumented immigrants, creates barriers to hiring illegal immigrants and requires proof of citizenship to receive certain government benefits.”
Yet, the overall factor is that local law enforcement seems to be working with ICE to identify, detain and deport undocumented immigrants that are caught — or “trapped.”
A story reported by Hispano de Tulsa of Tulsa, Oklahoma, one of the hardest areas hit by HB 1804 and suffering a toll on the local Latino community, is about a 16-year-old boy who was stopped by police at a makeshift checkpoint that our sources tell us are now randomly being set up around the state to catch undocumented immigrants driving without licenses or insurance.
This boy was caught at one of these checkpoints and arrested. A friend who was with him was told by the officer that the boy would be released if someone came and paid his $500 fine. The friend was released and immediately called the boy’s family.
The boy’s father went to the police station to pay his son’s fines but was told that the boy was no longer eligible for release because he was found to be undocumented and a “hold” had been put on him. Understandably upset that his son would be locked up in jail, the father returned home.
Two hours later, the family received a phone call from someone who identified himself as Sheriff Lopez. Lopez, speaking in Spanish, said that because the boy was a minor he was eligible to be released if someone came down to the station and could prove his age.
The whole family jumped into the car, even the boy’s pregnant wife, to get him out of jail. When they got to the station, the mother told the father to stay in the car while she went inside with her daughter-in-law and 14-year-old son who would translate for her. The thinking was that the son might be released more quickly if it was only the mother and the other two.
Well, the three of them entered the station and the 14-year-old told the officer on duty who they were and that they had come for the 16-year-old. The officer on duty told the trio to wait while he made a phone call. After a few seconds, seven ICE agents showed up and surrounded the three.
Without saying anything about the 16-year-old, the agents proceeded to interrogate the three about their legal status. When it was determined that they were undocumented, they were arrested near midnight without being charged with a crime of any kind.
The 14-year-old made a quick phone call on his cell to his father to let him know what happened. The mother got on the phone and told the father to stay away lest he be apprehended as well. Afterwards, The mother was so upset that she fainted.
While the ICE agents interrogated the young wife of the 16-year-old, she told the agents that her mother lived in Tulsa too. They immediately told her to call her mother so she could bring her ID and she would be free to go. Not surprisingly, the girl refused.
Finally, at 4 a.m., officials released the girl. But they kept the two boys and their mother.
When leaders from the local Latino community went to the station demanding answers for the entrapment, officials stated that the 14-year-old had been released. He had not. In fact, he reported later that he had been pressured to sign a document saying that he voluntarily agreed to be deported.
He wouldn’t sign but was put on a bus, along with his mother and brother, and the three were deported to Mexico.
These kinds of tactics undermine any trust or positive image law enforcement needs to work with local communities.
If ever there was an example as to why local law enforcement should not team up with ICE to enable these kinds of interrogations this is it.
This story and how ICE agents apprehended members of this family has circulated around the Tulsa community to the point that local Latinos do not trust the police — and where there is no trust, there is no respect either.
If the government was really interested in safeguarding this country from domestic terrorism, they would want the help of all the communities in this country. In their shortsightedness, they are alienating the one community who could provide the most information if it is to be believed that some terrorists hide among the undocumented immigrants looking for work.
Using a mother’s love for her child to entrap a family is a sad situation that only goes to show how low some in this country have reached when it comes to seeing immigrants as less than human.

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33 Comments

  1. Horace said:

    As usual, we disagree on this issue, and I wouldn’t bother to comment but the fact is that the Hispanic community is duplicitous on this issue. Leaders in the Hispanic community not only object to arrests for unlawful presence, but also object to arrests of people who are suspected of identity theft and other crimes. I ask you, Marisa, should the government refrain from arresting Hspanics suspected of identity theft? Such arrests and prosecutions are often the only way injured parties can obtain relief from the repercusssions of identity theft and discouraging continued identity theft by other Hispanic illegal aliens. Don’t you believe that one of our major identity documents warrants a defense by our law enfocement agencies? Social Security cards are rapidly becoming valueless. If the Hispanic community had their way, federal authorities would become impotent as an enforcement agency if an Hispanic criminal was involved. I believe that the Hispanc community is being unreasonable in its expectation that they should be immune from the same scrutiny that all others residents and citizens are subject to.

  2. Horace said:

    Here’s an example of non-Hispanics impacted by identity thieves. This could just as well happened to two Hispanic citizens:
    Newport couple faces taxes on income never earned
    BY ROBERT MOORE, Tribune Staff Writer
    http://www.citizentribune.com/news/view_sections.asp?idcategory=9&idarticle=7876
    For Lora and Jamey Costner, a $7,854 federal income tax bill is the painful indigestion that followed two unsatisfying servings of identity theft cooked up by two former Koch Foods employees, records indicate. The criminal cases involving the Newport married couple and the two illegal immigrants, who IRS records indicate worked for Koch Foods, have been resolved in the court system. The bitter aftertaste that remains is the unpalatable possibility of having their wages garnished to pay tax bills on income they never earned at the Morristown chicken-processing plant,” the Citizen Tribune reports.
    “The Costners remain in IRS legal limbo. The agency hasn’t begun garnishing their wages, but Mrs. Costner says she fears that could begin any day. What’s more, the Costner’s $7,854 IRS bill is for the 2005 calendar year. Mrs. Costner says she believes it’s only a matter of time until they receive a delinquent tax notice for the time the two imposters worked at Koch Foods during 2006.”
    Should ICE have refrained from arresting the culprits just because the Hispanic community felt threatened? Should the Kostners continue to live in fear for their economic well-being?

  3. Frank said:

    The 16 year old boy had a pregnant wife? Geesh!
    So we should allow illegal aliens to run amok in our country and not detain and deport them so that they will inform on other criminals? What a flimsy excuse to not enforce our immigration laws.
    Why does the whole Hispanic community feel threatened? If a Hispanic is here legally or is a citizen, they have nothing to fear. Sure they may be questioned in some cases because they fit the description of most illegal aliens in this country but being here legally they should be able to prove easily that they are legitamate.
    If a white male were suspected of a crime, law enforcement would be questioning white males. It is a no brainer.

  4. Honey said:

    When it was determined that they were undocumented, they were arrested near midnight without being charged with a crime of any kind.
    First of all, entering this country illegally is a crime, ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on the criminal history. Second of all, arresting and deporting illegal aliens is what ICE does. Thus the name Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

  5. yave begnet said:

    I hope this press helps them get a good lawyer to highlight the constitutional violations the local law enforcement committed. If ICE wants to reassure the public that local law enforcement will be trained how to act within the bounds of the law, this is not the way to do it. Of course, ICE is not all that interested in working within the bounds of the law, mainly in whisking people out of the country as quickly as possible with a minimum of legal oversight.
    Do trolls have nothing better to do on a Friday night?

  6. Horace said:

    Yave’s definition of a troll: Anyone who disagrees with him on illegal immigration and has the audacity to express him/herself openly.
    My definition of Yave: Vladimir Putin in disguise.

  7. Horace said:

    Which point of law did the police violate, yave? If the police were conducting checks of licenses and insurance on everyone, and the boy didn’t have correct documentation, they were well within their authority to arrest him. Public safety duties relating to driving are common to many police departments, including checkpoints. Apparently the boy lacked a license or insurance or both. ICE, using good police practices decided to conduct a sting operation against these law breakers. While you don’t like it, as it doesn’t fit in with your agenda of aiding and abetting illegal immigrants, it all appeared to be legal. There’s nothing in the article that the constitution was violated. Before you open your mouth and put your foot in it, check the bottom of your shoe.

  8. yave begnet said:

    It seems that the anti-migrant readers who come to this site have driven away most of the other commenters. I am faced with a dilemma here: respond to the issues raised in “anti” comments and produce 4-5 angry anti-migrant comments for every comment I write, or cede the ground to the antis since it’s just not worth the trouble and aggravation of getting into it with them. This is, on a micro scale, the strategy that has worked so well for restrictionists on the macro scale. By sheer persistence, volume, and refusal to engage on a rational level, they overwhelm opponents even if, as here, more readers are pro-migrant than anti. A small number of people have hijacked the debate–the inmates have taken over the asylum here at LL.
    I propose a middle course: I will continue to respond to Marisa and reasoned commenters; I will not respond to the bait of the antis. If this means there is one pro-migrant comment for every ten anti comments on this pro-migrant blog, I guess that is how it will be. Perhaps other pro-migrant commenters have already reached this conclusion, I don’t know. But I hope writing it here will help me keep my resolve.
    There should be, in theory, a place for civil discourse about the issues Marisa writes about among people who disagree on the issues. Unfortunately, I don’t think it is possible any longer here.

  9. EYES OF TEXAS said:

    Only got a question. Did they ever get daddy and deport him to. You know, the compassion thing of maintaining family unity.

  10. Frank said:

    yave, quit spinning the truth. None of ant’s are anti-migrant. We are anti-illegal alien.

  11. laura said:

    This story highlights two features of the anti-immigrant ICE – and some police – tactics: the way ICE staff – and some police – dehumanize themselves. And the way our taxpayer money is being wasted by arrests, prosecutions, and deportations of harmless people while dangerous criminals – drug and gun traffickers for example – run free.
    Feeling gleeful because they “caught” family members of this boy with a trick throws a sad light on the human values and decency of these officers.
    And: do they have nothing more important to do to protect their community ? From people who are actually dangerous ? Perhaps they prefer “catching” undocumented immigrants because it is so much easier – and at no risk to their personal safety.

  12. Frank said:

    laura, now you turn around and spin the truth too. You said ICE is anti-immigrant. That isn’t true! Why does your side lie?

  13. Publius said:

    “This story highlights two features of the anti-immigrant ICE – and some police – tactics: the way ICE staff – and some police – dehumanize themselves. And the way our taxpayer money is being wasted by arrests, prosecutions, and deportations of harmless people while dangerous criminals – drug and gun traffickers for example – run free.”
    This kid lacked a driver’s license and/or insurance. I’m glad that he was picked up, because if he was in an accident, some innocent citizen (Remember the people for whom those police work?) might be seriously injured and have to pay the price. Every citizen has to pay higher insurance premiums because illegal aliens often fail to maintain their policies, so they’re not so innocent as you would represent them to be.
    I find you to be immature, Laura, because you fail to understand that the police and ICE are doing the job that their employers are asking of them. They’re not subject to the influence of every minority group who would have them look the other way despite their ethical imperitive to do their job to the best of their ability.
    And how did ICE know that the boy’s family was innocent? Did they identify themselves and apply for a work visa or ask permission of our government to come here. And if they had applied and were rejected, crossing our borders illegally doesn’t give them moral or legal justification to do so. Most have either used stolen identities or forged documents, a federal crime, making a bit less saintly than you describe them. I’d guarantee that you would change your mind if they’d have messed up your life through identity theft. Only through your silly hindsight, after they were arrested, can you have he luxury of being so critical and abusive of our police authorities.

  14. Frank said:

    laura, law enforcement, ICE have no right to do the jobs they are being paid to do? Law enforcement is supposed to go after ALL criminals not just the ones who commit the most serious crimes.
    Those who violate our immigration laws are supposed to be deported. It is the law. I can’t believe that any American citizen would attack those who put their lives at risk to protect us.

  15. flower said:

    No llego a entender hasta que nivel se puede aceptar denigrar al pueblo latino en su propia casa, si este site es como una casa latina que vienen otros a escupirla y esto es aceptado. Me contestan que es para saber que es lo que piensan los demas, pues es muy simple ya se ha escuchado demasiado hasta hacer combustible con carne del immigrante, que mas se tiene que escuchar?. no es suficiente sigan escupiendo este site supuestamente como base latina. Porque en vez de ello no nos unimos como los judios y demandamos por la difamacion que afecta no solo indocumentados sino legales latinos. Hasta ahora he encontrado dos posibles puntos que pueden contratacar y parar esta ola. Media matters y http://www.marcosgutierres.com, vale la pena cooperar financieramente con ellos y poner punto a esta violencia verbal.

  16. EYES OF TEXAS said:

    Puby, the cost of arrest, prosecution and deportation is a bargain compared to the cost of subsidizing a family of four with our government social services, free medical at emergency rooms, free education and all the other hand-outs given to non-citizens.
    The cost to deport every illegal alien in this country would be less than what they are sucking out of the system.

  17. miguel said:

    flower…El pozo negro de odio de éste grupo contra-inmigracio’n es contaminante. No desespere Ellos saltan cuando los hilos del racismo son estirados y por lo pronto la mejor defensa va ser en la pelea politica. Todos unidos para elegir personas con vision.

  18. Horace said:

    Frank,
    Como una cuestión política, la suya es una causa de perder.

  19. Horace said:

    Miguel, Flor,
    Los millares de inmigrantes ilegales están saliendo de Oklahoma y de Arizona cada día. Pronto el problema del inmigrante ilegal será solucionado, como nada que sus apologistas pueden decir o hacer cualquier cosa lo prevendrá.

  20. laura said:

    I am also getting tired of the hate speech of “Frank” “Horace” “Eyes of Texas” etc.
    I would suggest to these people to work on bettering their own lives. If they devoted the time that they spend on writing hate-filled posts, to doing something for themselves – or perhaps even for another human being – they would have no need to blame their problems on undocumented immigrants.

  21. EYES OF TEXAS said:

    I advocate secure borders, use of the English language and enforcement of laws. I am 100% for legal immigration and 100% against illegal immigration. None of this stems from hate, only from what I expect as an American citizen and as someone concerned about the future of this nation.
    I have a very fulfilling life and do not see undocumented (illegal) immigrants (aliens) as a personal problem, but as a much larger national problem. Also, for your information, when Frank, Horace and I speak of illegal aliens we mean those from anywhere in the world. Don’t take it so personally just because we are posting on a blog monitored by a Latina.

  22. miguel said:

    Horace…el recorrido es para las fiestas de Navidad. Volverán.
    Feliz Navidad

  23. Horace said:

    Miguel,
    Veremos.
    Tenga una Feliz Navidad y una Feliz Año Nuevo.

  24. Frank said:

    Eyes of Texas, you mirror by views exactly.
    Why in the world would anyone make claims about other’s personal lives in here without even knowing them? I am opposed to illegal immigration because I don’t have a fulfilling life? WTH? I guess that must mean that 80% of Americans don’t have fulfilling lives either then I guess.
    FYI, my life is as full as anyone would want their life to be. Happily married, kids, grandkids, semi-retired, own a home, no bills and I even do volunteer work.
    I guess when the race card no longer works, make up negative stories about people’s lives that you know nothing about. Just how much more desperately unscrupulous are those on the wrong side of the immigration issue going to get?

  25. EYES OF TEXAS said:

    I can only assume that many of the people participating here are too young to remember the America that Frank and I lived through. Today everything is upside down because our government is dominated by weak politicians interested only in themselves and those that can secure their re-elections. Our nation based on “by the people, for the people” no longer exists. No, yesteryear was not perfect, but it was a whole lot better than what we have now.

  26. Frank said:

    EOT, many in this blog and outside this blog that are pro-illegal alien, loathe the way of life we had back then because it was such a white majority. They hate that and seek to change that. Of course with them it is totally ok for countries lies Mexico to remain a Hispanic majority along with their culture and language.

  27. miguel said:

    EYES OF TEXAS wrote:I can only assume that many of the people participating here are too young to remember the America that Frank and I lived through. Today everything is upside down because our government is dominated by weak politicians interested only in themselves and those that can secure their re-elections. Our nation based on “by the people, for the people” no longer exists. No, yesteryear was not perfect, but it was a whole lot better than what we have now.
    Frank wrote:EOT, many in this blog and outside this blog that are pro-illegal alien, loathe the way of life we had back then because it was such a white majority. They hate that and seek to change that.
    EOT and Frank. Your views of the past are seen through the eyes of young white men I assume. Maybe growing up in east Texas. You are trying to equate the hate filled times of lynchings of blacks, water fountains for use by “colored”, going to the back of the bus. Not allowed to sit at the counter at the soda shop. The loathe you describe Frank is from your perspective. Yes loathe is the right word for these things in those times.
    EOT “yesteryear was not perfect, but it was a whole lot better than what we have now.” This POV is valid from where you grew up. What you had then was what? Go to the front window at the Dairy Queen?
    The good old days were NOT the same for all of us. Maybe the young bloggers here can not remember those times like we do but you seem dead set on bringing back those times now, using ‘illegal’ as your rallying point. As recently as 1966 I remember being told what water fountain I could or could not drink out off. Color of skin was the guage for that privilege.

  28. Frank said:

    miguel, I am not a young white man. I am an elderly white man. There are some things in the past that I am not proud of and that is the way that Blacks were treated during the Civil Rights Era. But there were many good things about life back in the 50′s and 60′s too. Those are the things I long for again, not discrimination against Blacks or any other racism.

  29. miguel said:

    Frank, I am close to 70 myself so not a spring chicken by any means. It was not fair to bring up the negative side of those years. They are things best left to die off as a lesson learned.
    Merry Christmas and Blessings in the coming year.

  30. Horace said:

    The definition of hate speech as defined in Wikipedia: Hate speech is a term for speech intended to degrade, intimidate, or incite violence or prejudicial action against a person or group of people based on their race, gender, age, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, language ability, moral or political views, socioeconomic class, occupation or appearance (such as height, weight, and hair color), mental capacity and any other distinction-liability.
    Laura, you’re redefining hate speech. Nothing in the definition of hate speech refers to speaking against people who have manifestly shown contempt for our laws. Frank and the rest of your opposition have basically said that they are opposed to your charitable proposal to give amnesty to illegal immigrants based on what they, in good faith, and after considered analysis, believe to be the truth. We may not be forgiving of illegal aliens and be willing to give them their demanded citizenship, but we have said nothing that can be actually be construed as hate by dispassionate reasonable observers. This is one of those cases where passionate supporters of people who have committed bad acts are blaming those opposing them for a lack of support for their positions.

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