Wednesday, March 13, 2019

ICE Agents Forge Supervisor Signatures on Administrative Warrants

From CNN

Brent Oxley, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation officer in Little Rock, Arkansas, was happy in his work, which he says "gave me the feeling that I was helping protect my country." A big part of his job: Look through rosters from local jails for people who might be deportable, ask for them to be held for ICE to pick up, then go get them.

But last May, ICE fired Oxley, for a variety of charges that included forging his supervisor's signature on arrest warrants for undocumented immigrants. Federal immigration law requires each warrant to be signed by an authorized supervisor. By signing them himself, an ICE administrator wrote to Oxley, he had exposed ICE to the possibility of "numerous unlawful detention lawsuits" over illegal arrests, had they not reissued the warrants.
Oxley challenged his termination, convinced he had not been alone in skipping the warrant-review process, which could be inconvenient when supervisors weren't in the office and the 48-hour time limit to release people was nearing its end. And he turned up evidence he was right.
Internal emails and other ICE documents he obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request, since reviewed by CNN, show that other officers across the five-state region where Oxley worked had improperly signed warrants on behalf of their supervisors -- especially on evenings or weekends. Some supervisors even gave their officers pre-signed blank warrants — in effect, illegally handing them the authority to begin the deportation process.

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