PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents mistook a Forest Grove Latino man for a man who is not in the country legally, the man and his wife said.
ICE agents approached Isidro Andrade-Tafolla, 46, and his wife on Monday near a Hillsboro courthouse after a protest against recent ICE arrests outside the courthouse, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported (http://bit.ly/2fiAxnd).
The couple had left a court hearing when they were stopped by a man and a woman in plainclothes who did not identify themselves as ICE agents and asked Andrade-Tafolla for his name and identification. He later remembered seeing the pair sitting near him and his wife during the hearing.
The agents showed him a photo on a cellphone of a Hispanic man that they were searching for that they believed was him, according to the couple.
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The only thing he and the man in photo have in common is that they are both Hispanic, said Andrade-Tafolla, who is a U.S. citizen.
The agents left after a separate agent who wore an ICE jacket confirmed that Andrade-Tafolla was not the man they were looking for.
“It was frightening, disturbing, humiliating and I’m still trying to process being stopped because of my color and my race,” he said.
ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice declined to comment on the encounter, but said in an email that ICE officers are required to identify themselves when conducting official duties. The agents can use placards and clothing to identify themselves, she said.
Oregon Chief Justice Thomas Balmer sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and then-Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly after a series of ICE arrests were reported around county courthouse in April asking them to stop their agents from arresting people in and around Oregon courts.
Two Democratic members of Oregon’s congressional delegation sent a letter Wednesday to the top ICE official in Oregon, asking for an investigation.
Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com