Family says they were harassed by men claiming to be ICE | March 10, 2017 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - March 10, 2017

Family says they were harassed by men claiming to be ICE

Bounty hunters entered home, interrogated family about immigration status

by Sue Dremann

East Palo Alto resident Juan Pinto's nightmare began with a pounding on his front door at 3 a.m. on March 1. Groggy and undressed, Pinto asked who was there.

This story contains 1053 words.

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Staff Writer Sue Dremann can be emailed at


46 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 10, 2017 at 9:34 am

Impersonating a Federal officer is a Federal crime. Why isn't the FBI investigating this?

26 people like this
Posted by MikeCrescentPark
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 10, 2017 at 10:10 am

This is a very suspicious incident as reported. It has all the hallmarks of a hoax or a staged episode for the purpose of furthering a political goal or some other cause.

If ICE does not hire subcontractors who would conduct a ruse like this for any other reason?

32 people like this
Posted by CJS
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 10, 2017 at 11:01 am

Any undocumented person who is approached by ICE can call 203-666-4472 and MIGRA Watch will coach them through the process of how to handle the situation. MIGRA Watch is training community people to witness this harassment in order to help stop a detention, deportation and family separation and can help in the legal case if someone is detained and can help with legislative advocacy.

26 people like this
Posted by Seriously?
a resident of Menlo Park
on Mar 10, 2017 at 11:25 am

EPA will not take a report? Impersonating a federal officer is a crime, no? And I'm pretty sure that coerced 'consent' basd on fraudulent identification is some sort of illegal too.

EPA PD needs to speak up.

"The Pintos asked East Palo Alto police to take a report, but police Commander Jeff Liu said the department did not because Pinto gave the men "consent" to enter his home and see their identifying documents. Thus the actions were not unlawful, Liu said."

29 people like this
Posted by Palo Altan
a resident of Community Center
on Mar 10, 2017 at 11:36 am

@MikeCrescentPark: Did you only read the headline? The article describes the incident. It's not a hoax. It's bounty hunters looking for the wife's brother and they claimed "Immigration", not ICE. The brother-in-law is who they are looking for and they are using immigration as a way to bully them into finding him.

I learned this from the article, which is interesting: "Bounty hunters don't have to 'knock and announce' before breaking down doors to search for a fugitive; they don't have to Mirandize someone, and incriminating statements obtained by coercion are even admissible in court, he noted."

12 people like this
Posted by greenmom
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 10, 2017 at 3:50 pm

Discusting!! more and more resemblance with Nazi Germany! I thougth I was going to see these kind of abuse only in the war movies.....Discusting!

1 person likes this
Posted by JerryS
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 18, 2017 at 3:11 pm

JerryS is a registered user.

Mr. Pinto and this report are omitting an important aspect of the horrible event. He should not have opened the door. Even if the men who turned out to be bail bondsmen were ICE agents as they claimed they had no right to enter without a warrant. The first rule if actual ICE agents knock on the door is to demand to see a warrant signed by a judge. If they have one they can slip it under the door or hold it up to a window. If they don't have one then then don't open the door. See, for example, Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Mar 18, 2017 at 10:45 pm

Curmudgeon is a registered user.

To be safest, call 911 and make those Gestapo wannabes deal with the police.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.