PORTLAND, Ore. -- George Cardenas had a busy Friday answering requests for interviews after he posted his video on Facebook of Immigration Customs and Enforcement agents entering a private home without a warrant.
It has hundreds of thousands of views.
“I want people to know you have rights. They can’t just do that to you,” he said on Friday.
The incident happened Thursday morning in the Portland area. Cardenas said he heard a knock on the door of the home he and another worker were painting.
He opened it and saw people dressed in every day clothes, who later identified as federal immigration agents, asking for a coworker named Carlos.
“I thought it might a been an electrician or flooring or somebody else because we were remodeling the home. They didn’t identify themselves whatsoever. At that point, I closed the door and said let me check if he’s here. So I go in to see what’s going on and they basically walk right in. They walk right in after me,” Cardenas said.
Which is when Cardenas picked up his phone and started recording, as he warned the agents they were trespassing.
“OK, do you guys have a warrant to come in his home?" Cardenas asked on camera.
“We don’t need a warrant to come in this home. No one lives here,” an agent responded.
“You do. We'll talk to the homeowner. We work with the homeowner,” Cardenas replies.
“Listen, we know no one lives here. This is considered a place of business. You guys are here to work,” said the agent.
“They live downstairs. Everything is downstairs. The furniture and everything is downstairs. It’s a big home. We’re finishing up so they can come back up,” Cardenas responded.
Eventually the agents arrested the coworker who they said is in the country illegally. They later they released him but would not say why.
Portland area immigration lawyer Mike Purcell said it appears the agents were clearly in the wrong.
“If it’s a residence, you have to either have a warrant or you have to have consent or you have to have some sort of emergency situation. So there wasn’t an emergency. If the person just opens the door that’s not the same thing as consent,” he said.
Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, along with Congresswoman Bonamici and Congressman Blumenauer have called for a full investigation.
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