The immigration issue isn't happening only in border states. It has moved into the heartland.
A Kansas City immigration lawyer representing a mother, father, and their three-year-old son was shoved by an ICE officer as she attempted to enter a building with her client.
The entire episode was caught by numerous cameras as Netflix was on location filming the event, as well as 30 peaceful protesters.
Andrea Martinez and a fellow attorney had arranged to meet with ICE agents at 3 a.m. to reunite the six-months-pregnant mother, Kenia, with her son Noah. Kenia had been detained by ICE and separated from her son for weeks following a traffic stop.
The father, Luis, was carrying Noah into the building, followed by Martinez, when ICE agents ushered Luis inside and then attempted to shut the door, barring Martinez from entering. As she shouted, "I'm their attorney," one ICE agent shoved her back, causing her to fall to the ground, scraping her knees and ankle and breaking her foot.
He then shut and locked the door.
Martinez was eventually allowed to enter the building but was kept in a separate room without medical attention. She posted her injuries on Facebook, saying that the ICE agent who shoved her repeatedly checked her phone to make sure she wasn't filming.
In a news conference at a later date Martinez said:
He [Noah] was excited to see his mom. Really missed his mom and to have that moment be so tarnished by an ICE officer assaulting us, it really scared him and I think further traumatized him.
Megan Galicia, an attorney with Martinez Immigration Law Firm, added:
If with cameras rolling and 20 or 30 activists watching, ICE does this, pushes an attorney down onto the ground and breaks her foot, imagine what they're doing when nobody is watching.
Kenia and Noah have been deported back to Honduras. ICE made them leave all their suitcases behind.
Meanwhile, Luis has been detained and is sitting in a Missouri jail.
Not only was Netflix there to film the event, numerous protesters also caught the shove and fall on video.
Twitter user Timothy McMahon posted from the scene as it happened.
He went on to point out some inaccuracies with local coverage of the story.
And he pointed out the racial profiling that caused Kenia to be held by ICE.
Outrage spread quickly on social media.
Martinez reached out to supporters after the incident, saying:
This is not about me. This is about the immigrants who are being separated from their families and mistreated while detained.
Martinez has since posted a statement from the Missouri-Kansas Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association:
Missouri-Kansas Immigration Attorneys Condemn ICE Officer’s Actions
Kansas City, Missouri – In response to the egregious actions by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer against an immigration attorney and chapter member as she represented her clients, the Missouri-Kansas Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) issues the following statement:
“The behavior of an ICE Officer on June 26, 2018 in Kansas City, MO, was unacceptable and we demand a full investigation. Violence against attorneys performing their job duties will not be tolerated. In this instance, a Chapter member was surrendering her three-year old client and reuniting him with his mother when she was assaulted by an officer without justification. While we recognize that being in the public spotlight and having community members witness ICE’s decision to deport a pregnant woman and her child may be stressful for officers, there is no justification for the use of force against attorneys upholding their duty to their clients. If ICE behaves this way towards members of the legal profession while the cameras are rolling, there is no doubt that the most vulnerable are suffering far worse abuses."
"For years, attorneys have worked hard to maintain collegial, professional relationships with ICE enforcement officials. We make this statement recognizing the necessity of frank, open dialogue and trust. Most of our interactions with the Kansas City ICE Field Office are professional, courteous and honest. What happened yesterday is a shocking transgression. It is profoundly disappointing that the actions of this single official place these longstanding, productive relationships in jeopardy. We do not demonize or attack dedicated government professionals for doing their very difficult jobs, when they do so professionally. All that we ask is for the same respect and decency in return for ourselves as professionals and our clients as fellow human beings. We — and the American people — expect and deserve nothing less.”
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