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Opinion: Raided, for sleeping while Latino
Demonstrators denounce ICE raids. Adriana Leon's suit was settled last week and led to changes in ICE methods.
April 12th, 2013
11:30 AM ET

Opinion: Raided, for sleeping while Latino

Editor's note: Adriana Leon (Aguilar) is the lead plaintiff in Aguilar v. ICE, a case brought by LatinoJustice PRLDEF, the Center for Constitutional Rights and Winston and Strawn LLP against the Immigration Customs and Enforcement agency for its armed raids into Latino homes.

By Adriana Leon, Special to CNN

(CNN) - In the cold, predawn hours of February 20, 2007, shortly after 4 a.m., armed men stormed into the home I owned with my family and burst into my bedroom, shouting at me to show my hands.

My husband had left for work, and our 4-year-old son began to cry with fright. I stumbled out of bed in my nightclothes to the family living area, terrified and confused. Two armed men were coming upstairs from our basement, having searched it without permission, and others were demanding that we tell them the location of my ex-husband, with whom I had not lived for several years. As I had reported to the immigration service on my daughters' citizenship applications, I had been remarried for four years.

The men acted as if they had the right to be in our home, but we knew to ask questions: Who were they? Did they have a warrant? They refused to identify themselves or show a warrant, and they put their hands on their guns when we tried to move.

They interrogated my 12-year-old daughter and ordered my brother, a U.S. citizen since he was a teenager, to produce his papers. That's when I realized the men were U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. When they left, they threatened to return.

FULL STORY