In response to an immigrant rights group’s objections and accusations over deportation raids in Clovis, a federal spokesperson said Friday that claims of improper behavior are taken seriously.
“ICE officers routinely conduct immigration enforcement operations locally and nationwide that help improve overall public safety by removing criminal aliens from our communities, and ultimately from our country,” Leticia Zamarripa, a spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said in a statement to the Daily Record. “All Department of Homeland Security employees are held to the highest standards of behavior and ethics. Accusations against our ICE officers are a serious matter, and are fully investigated.”
Representatives of the immigrant and workers’ rights group Somos Un Pueblo Unido accused ICE agents of terrorizing innocent people during raids in Clovis, and a witness accused them of intimidation and of yelling threats.
Zamarripa said Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly has made it clear that ICE will no longer exempt any class of individuals from removal proceedings if they are found to be in the country illegally.
“Aliens processed for removal may receive their legal due process from federal immigration judges in the immigration courts, which are administered by the Executive Office for Immigration Review,” Zamarripa said. “EOIR is an agency within the U.S. Department of Justice, and is separate from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and ICE. Immigration judges in these courts make decisions based on the merits of each individual case. ICE officers carry out the removal decisions made by the federal immigration judges.”