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liberty not to respond to the questions (emphasis added].34
citizen or an alien, and then pursued the matter from the point on.38
The fourth amendment guarantees that individuals shall be free of “unreasonable" seizures by government agents. INS officials acknowledge that, under the Supreme Court decision in Brignoni-Ponce, INS officers must at least have a "reasonable suspicion” of alienage based upon “specific articulable facts" prior to interrogation of an individual where no vehicle stop is involved.35 However, there appears to be no uniform INS policy for the selection of interrogatees during its area control operations. 36
Testimony indicated that in at least one INS region a conflict existed between high-level INS officials as to what interrogation selection method would be legally permissible. INS Western Regional Counsel Bernard Karmiol testified that the legal standards required to interrogate a person as to alienage were set out in the Supreme Court case of Brignoni-Ponce, which he interpreted to mean that:
On the other hand, Joseph Sureck, then Los Angeles District Director, testified that after INS officers enter a factory they can interrogate all persons as to their alienage.39
Testimony indicated that INS officers in some jurisdictions interrogate all persons in the area targeted for control; others select some persons for interrogation based on ethnicity alone; and still others make selections based on a combination of factors. During an area control operation conducted at Terminal Island in California, INS agents searched every cannery and interrogated all 5,000 employees. 40
During factory surveys, according to Philip Smith, Assistant District Director for Investigations, INS agents interrogate almost every employee:
[M]erely because a person had a brown skin or seemed to be of Latin ethnic derivation, this would not be sufficient to stop this person and speak to him, that other so-called articulable facts are required].37
I have the authority to establish policy and set guidelines with respect to investigative procedures and to also implement Immigration policies and policies established by the District Director. . . .Immigration officers during the survey usually speak to virtually all persons employed by a company, to either ascertain a person's immigration status or to seek information from that person (emphasis added).*1
He concluded that INS officers must also have a reasonable suspicion of alienage based on specific articulable facts to question employees during factory raids in metropolitan areas:
The officer would have to be able to explain at a later time just exactly why, besides the fact that the man had a brown skin, perhaps, he questioned the individual as to his being a
That the policy and practice is to question all individuals is made clear by the statement of an INS criminal investigator that she questioned “as many persons as possible, either to determine if they are themselves aliens or to obtain information about other persons. . . .”42 This practice of interrogating all employees suggests the absence of a reasonable
** Mark Rosenbaum, testimony, Los Angeles Open Meeting Transcript, p.
37 Karmiol Testimony, Los Angeles Open Meeting, p. 516.
Well, they asked the black person. They asked the person of Latin ethnic characteristics. They asked the person whose dress looked a little different, the person who carred El Diario under his arm rather than the New York Times, and the person who carried the brown paper bag. . . .46
Ethnic appearance, he further stated, was the basis for selecting people for questioning during factory raids:
Typically an alien who is taken into custody is at a place of work, or apprehended while he's walking down the street, and the procedure is for an immigration officer who may or may not have a substantial basis for knowing that the person is an alien other than his impression of what he looks like. He looks Chinese, he looks foreign, he looks Mexican. He wears certain types of clothes. At one time they had an operational. . . .guideline of Immigration Service officers in New York whose description stated, “People who wore foreign-looking clothing and carried brown bags," they were assumed to be Spanish-speaking aliens from Spanish-speaking countries, because that combination, in the experience of Immigration Service, reflected [that] a person who had his lunch in this brown bag and...had foreign-cut clothing. . .was probably not a citizen of the United States (or probably] not even a permanent resident alien of the United States.
when payroll records are exhibited to these agents by the employer who may or may not know his legal right to refuse to do so, it's been my experience and the experience of my colleagues that the names that are called out for interview are those that sound Latin, that sound Oriental, that sound East European. The Smiths and Joneses and Rosens are not interrogated. The Martinezes and Perezes and Lopezes and
" Rosenbaum Testimony, Los Angeles Open Meeting Transcript, pp. 33435. * The guideline provided:
The dress of an individual plays an important part in choosing to approach an individual and interrogate him. Experience has shown that persons from Latin and South American countries generally will retain their habit of wearing their clothing in a style that they were accustomed to in their native counties. Some may be wearing serapes. Others will be dressed in foreign-cut clothing, which is immediately distinguishable. Generally, their garb will be the type that is not associated with persons who have been residents in the New York area
for sufficiently long periods of time. Another sign will be the fact that these persons, in addition to their dress, will also be carrying their
lunch in brown paper bags. Ben Lambert, INS Assistant District Director for Investigation, New York District, memorandum NYC 50/11, Jan. 16, 1973, printed in U.S., Congress, House, Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and International Law, Review of the Administration of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 93d Cong., 1st sess. (1973), p. 32. • David Carliner, testimony, Washington Hearing Transcript, p. 241. 46 Leon Rosen, testimony, New York Open Meeting Transcript, vol. 1, pp. 222-23.
Wangs are, and there is something drastically wrong with that system.o7
In an INS search of the Sbicca Shoe Factory in California in May 1978, according to the Los Angeles Times, INS officers interrogated all Latino workers.48 The Times reported that the INS sent 40 officers, many of them armed, to the factory, sealed the exits, and "in Spanish, ordered all employees to freeze"; all Latino workers were then required to produce documents establishing their immigration status.
INS officials have testified that interrogation based solely on race or ethnic appearance is not proper. Glen Bertness, INS Assistant Commissioner for Investigations, testified that "articulable facts" as to the alienage of an individual are required for questioning and noted that several factors should be considered in making this determination:
INS Definitions of "Reasonable
In planning its area control operations, INS relies on several sources for information in determining possible locations or areas to search. Anonymous tips and police tips are all considered justifications for INS area control operations. Philip Smith, Assistant INS District Director for Investigations in Los Angeles, stated that most of the tips received by INS and used as a basis for area control operations are anonymous and the reliability of the informant cannot be checked prior to an operation:
The majority are anonymous. When I say anonymous, the person who makes the report refuses to furnish his identity, and I have to presume, because if he is an employee there at the time or is applying for the job, he does not want to have his position put into jeopardy.52
The information provided by unknown informants is also questionable because of its lack of specificity. Mark Rosenbaum of the ACLU testified that INS factory raids are conducted without particular knowledge that certain specific undocumented workers will be present at the factory:
Well, again, it would be a myriad of things, depending upon it would be the way the person reacted when you walked down the assembly line, if you're talking about an assembly line situation. Many of them would be hidden in crevices and in rooms, which you would feel are articulable facts. And the refusal to speak to you, and their reaction to your being present when they found out that you were Immigration people would be the primary (consideration)."
While a person's race could be one factor, he stated, it alone would be insufficient to support the interrogation of any individual.50 The courts have consistently held that interrogation of an individual based solely on race or ethnic appearance is unconstitutional. 51
While such information or tips would not be an acceptable basis for issuance of a criminal search warrant by an impartial magistrate,54 INS finds no impropriety in relying on such information and has used these tips in planning and carrying out its area
7 Ibid., p. 224. ** Los Angeles Times, Nov. 26, 1978, part VII 3, p. 44. 4* Bertness Testimony, Washington Hearing Transcript, pp. 100-01. 50 Ibid., p. 101. See also n. 91 of this chapter of the report. 51 U.S. v. Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U.S. 873 (1975); Illinois Migrant Council v. Pilliod, 548 F.2d 715 (7th Cir. 1977); Marquez v. Kiley, 436 F. Supp. 100 (S.D.N.Y. 1977). sa Philip Smith, testimony, Los Angeles Open Meeting Transcript, p. 339. Another witness posed different, more questionable motives in reporting information to the INS:
(Perhaps we haven't witnessed in this country before a situation where family members, neighbors, can take vengeance and wreak vengeance upon one another simply because they can turn in someone who is undocumented. It has broken up families. It has caused terrible human suffering, and all of this because of the state of the present
53 Rosenbaum Testimony, Los Angeles Open Meeting Transcript, p. 334.
control operations. In a letter to the Commission, the INS stated:
It is also implied that the INS has carried out searches based on tips that would not support a search warrant. If consent is granted, no search warrant is needed. If a warrant is sought, it will not be granted if probable cause is lacking. The INS does not make searches unless it has reason to believe that it will find aliens who are illegally in the country. There is no impropriety in relying on tips to plan an area control operation.55
Mr. O'Connor further stated that INS agents do not enter neighborhoods to apprehend aliens unless the police request their assistance in handling a "disturbance," defined as “something that would continually disturb a local police department."58 He conceded that the police would need to communicate specific articulable facts59 to indicate that illegal aliens were indeed involved or that “it is an area that is known that illegal aliens frequent.”60 He then cited east Los Angeles, a community with a predominantly Mexican American population, as an area that such aliens were known to frequent.61
Area control operations based on such generalized facts are questionable under current fourth amendment standards as enunciated by the courts.62 They also conflict with INS Central Office policy as to the nature and amount of information to be supplied by police officers before INS conducts surveys of residential areas. Charles Sava, INS Associate Commissioner for Enforcement, stated that INS policy is to enter residential neighborhoods only where specific articulable facts exist to indicate that an undocumented alien is at a particular place:
Certainly, search warrants should issue only upon a finding of probable cause, and consent, if it is a voluntary and knowing waiver, can obviate the need for a warrant. But where informants’ tips provide the basis for a search or an area control operation, the tips should meet fourth amendment standards.
In selecting sites for its area control operations, INS accepts and at times acts on information provided by police departments. Although INS Regional Commissioner Edward O'Connor testified that, as a matter of policy, INS no longer conducts neighborhood sweeps,56 INS officers will “assist” police departments under certain circumstances:
Our policy on going into residential and community areas is that, for area control operations. .we go in only when we have information based on articulable facts which would allow us to know somebody is at a given place, a given address, and to work that information.
I said (neighborhood sweeps are) possible. I did not say we were doing it. What we would do would be assist a police department when they needed us, possibly for our language ability. We are not today in this climate going out and sweeping neighborhoods anywhere in this country. We have enough work to do. There are enough people in industry that are here illegally. There are enough illegal aliens on farms and ranches and attempting to cross our borders, but we are not going into neighborhoods.57
As opposed to that, in non-area-control cases where we do have specific information and we are working a non-area-control type case, where we are not seeking out people in general but are looking for a specific person for a specific reason, to work that information.63
A complaint from a local police authority, he stated, could constitute specific articulable facts if
55 Castillo Letter.
Harassed in the sense that the presence of the police and the INS or the
58 Ibid., p. 515.
Service patrol and investigation officers conducting necessary inqui-
which warrant investigation. INS Regional Commissioner, Western Region, memorandum to District Directors, Officers in Charge, and Chief Patrol Agents, Western Region, Feb. 7, 1978. ** O'Connor Testimony, Los Angeles Open Meeting Transcript, pp. 51516. 61 Ibid., p. 516. 62 See n. 54 of this chapter of the report. 63 Sava Testimony, Washington Hearing Transcript, p. 87.
such information was reliable and specified the number and location of suspected undocumented aliens:
law violations.66 INS area control operations involving business establishments have been based on search warrants obtained under rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.67 Because rule 41 warrants authorized only the search for property68 that is evidence of a crime and not persons, a Federal court, in an October 1978 decision, held that INS searches for undocumented workers at business premises under such warrants were not permissi
If we had found him to be responsible in the past; if he has proven himself to be a responsible person, where the information he gives is accurate, not misleading, and is, I'd say, a reasonable request, not just a very general thing. . . .If he could, I'd say, document his evidence, tell us how many, and where they are, we'd certainly work that. 64
The search warrant in that case, Blackie's House of Beef, Inc. v. Castillo, " substituted the word "persons” in two places for the word "property.” But in the blank space for “here describe property,” the following was entered:
Aliens who are believed to be in the United States in violation of United States Code, Title 8, Section 1325 and Section 241(a)(2) of the Immigration and Naturalization Act in that said aliens entered the United States without inspection.72
Search Warrants Used in Area
The framers of the Constitution recognized that searches or seizures of individuals could result in the detainment or arrest of innocent persons and thereby cause a significant intrusion by the government upon those individuals. They sought to prevent general searches and seizures of individuals by including in the fourth amendment a provision that searches or seizures of persons could only be conducted where specific indications of a violation of law were present. This amendment states that: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.”65
Search warrants are sometimes used by the INS to enter premises to conduct area control operations for apprehending persons suspected of immigration
After the magistrate's recitation that he was "satisfied that there is probable cause,” he "commanded" that the defendants search:
the person or place named for the property specified. . .and if the property be found there to seize it, leaving a copy of this warrant and receipt for the property taken, and prepare a written inventory of the property and promptly return this warrant and bring the property before
& U.S. Const. amend. IV. For a discussion on the origin and history of
(a) Authority to Issue Warrant
& The proposition that “persons” are not "property” has been basic to
(b) Property or Persons which may be Seized With a Warrant
(h) Scope and Definition