DENVER — Attorneys for a woman who has lived in Denver for 23 years say U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents broke out the woman's car window and pulled her out to arrest her without a warrant.
“The issue is ICE didn’t have the legal authority to do what they did,” immigration attorney Johnny Poon told Denver7.
His client, Shadia Gonzalez, had been living in the United States illegally. Previous deportation stays had run out, and she had a deportation order out for her arrest. The issue, according to her attorney, was not that she was arrested but rather how she was arrested.
“Her car was boxed in by ICE officers in unmarked cars and in plain clothes. They proceeded to break her window and drag her out of her car to execute a deportation order,” Poon said.
Gonzalez’s son was watching the entire incident unfold from the windows of the family home. He shared with Denver7 photos of the broken window and a video of his mother being arrested.
“I thought it was wrong. She’s not violent; she’s an understanding woman. For them to break the window and drag her out in cuffs, it’s not fair for her,” Mark Gonzalez said.
Her attorney says when agents did not produce a warrant, but rather a "worksheet" with Shadia’s information on it.
ICE spokesperson Alethea Smock says agents, through federal law, do not need judicial warrants to make an arrest.
"Ms. Gonzalez failed to comply with the officers’ lawful commands to exit her vehicle. After officers made several attempts to have her comply with instructions, they were left with no choice but to physically remove her from the vehicle to execute the arrest," Smock said in a statement in regards to the incident.
“That is a violation of her rights. She does have rights in the U.S. despite the fact that she is illegally in the U.S.,” Poon argued.
The ACLU of Colorado called the incident “dangerous,” and an “extreme action.”