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 He came face to face with ICE and stopped an arrest

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PostSubject: He came face to face with ICE and stopped an arrest    Thu Jan 04, 2018 2:53 am

Morning traffic streamed past a busy intersection in South Seattle, past a family-style pizza shop and a brightly-painted Mexican restaurant that still wouldn't open for several hours. A few residents came and went from the low-rise apartments lining the blocks in this largely Latino neighborhood.

A young man named Jose, who grew up in this neighborhood, showed me one of the buildings he manages – and where he recently stood up to federal immigration agents, with support from a local hotline that fielded his urgent call for help.

“I was standing here, and this is where they came down,” Jose said, pointing toward the back entrance of his building. Jose asked to only use his first name, to protect his identity.

On the morning of November 16, Jose came rushing to these apartments after he got a call from an agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

“He told me that he was here, he was trying to apprehend a suspect,” Jose recalled. “I was like, OK, I'm on my way. I'm the property manager. I'll be there shortly. And he asked me how soon, because we have six agents who are ready to enter the premises.”

But Jose didn’t see any officers when he arrived, so he waited by the back entrance.

Moments later, a few agents stepped out of unmarked vehicles.

“Yeah, they basically had the whole place surrounded,” Jose said, pointing out where agents’ cars were sitting in the parking lot and on the street.

Jose said he shook hands with the lead agent, then asked him for a warrant to enter and search the building. The ICE agent handed Jose some papers.

“And I was just scanning for the word judge,” Jose said. “I was making sure that it came from a court and was actually signed by a judge.”

Immigration agents often use what’s called an administrative warrant, but only a judge’s signature gives them legal permission to search private property.

Jose knew what to look for, and he handed the papers back.

“I'm sorry,” he told the agents. “In order for me to let you enter the premises, I need to see a warrant signed by a judge."

After some back and forth, the agents returned to their cars.

Jose said they left him with this warning:  “We're just going to stay out here all day, and we're going to pick up anybody that comes in or leaves the property."

Jose waited. He knew help was on the way.

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