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ICE agents forced their way into a home in order to arrest a man this week, and allegedly turned down the family’s request for a warrant.
Armed agents surrounded the National City, California home of Alberto Alonso Hernández on Tuesday, NBC San Diego reports. Brianna Alonso, the suspect’s wife, reports that the agents stayed in front of the home for 3 hours, even disconnecting their electricity at one point and forcing their way into the home by prying open the front door with a crowbar.
The ordeal was recorded by the suspect’s 11-year-old daughter. At one point, Alonso can be heard speaking on the phone with a legal assistance hotline, telling the person on the other end that her husband is not a killer and that they have five children. The family refused to open the door for the agents and demanded to see a warrant, a request to which one officer reportedly responded, “You’re watching too much movies,” adding, “We’ll show you the warrant when we’re done.”
ICE agents are required to present either a search warrant or an arrest warrant before entering a suspect's home, according to the National Immigration Law Center.
The family shared a video of the ordeal with Telemundo. As seen in the screenshot above, ICE agents pried open the door with a crowbar and entered the home using a riot shield marked “police.” They then proceeded to take Hernández into custody. Hernández’s wife Brianna Alonso said that agents did not give her the warrant until after her husband was already in custody, ABC 10 reports.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency told NBC San Diego that the agents involved in Tuesday’s raid followed protocol. Hernández had a previous domestic violence charge and had been deported in the past, an ICE spokesperson said, and agents had an arrest warrant from a federal judge. Hernández’s wife disputes that claim, The Hill reports.
In a statement, ICE officials explained that officers initially tried to arrest Hernández during a vehicle stop near his home, ABC 10 reports. He then fled to his home, “forcing the officers to obtain a criminal arrest warrant for illegal re-entering the United States.”
“ICE officers try to avoid executing warrants in the presence of children. However, as shown yesterday, we initially attempted to take custody of the subject outside of the home,” their statement continued. “After the subject fled and hid inside his residence and refused to respond to our presence outside of his residence despite multiple calls for him to come out. We did not have advance time to know the status of the people/children at the location. We certainly do all we can to avoid confrontation in the presence of children. Our concern would also be to ensure the children are not left alone without an appropriate parent or adult guardian.”
(Photo: Screenshot via Telemundo)