January 7, 2008

RE: Marisol's Odds Go Down

Marc Comtois

Justin was correct, the "first father" in Rhode Island in 2008, Mynor Montufar, was arrested by immigration officials (ICE). ProJo account is here.

Two days after local media featured Mynor Montufar and Carmen L. Marrero as the parents of Rhode Island’s first baby of 2008, federal immigration agents arrested Montufar at his apartment.

Now Montufar is about to be deported.

And David De La Roca — also an illegal immigrant, one of several people who shared the couple’s apartment — is dead in an apparent suicide.

De La Roca was found hanging from a belt in a locked bedroom at 174 Bellevue Ave. on Friday, several hours after immigration agents raided it and arrested Montufar and another man.

A Providence police report confirms an account given by Marrero’s mother, who said she was one of several people present when a friend of De La Roca jimmied open the door and found the body.

Whether these events are connected is unknown, but family, friends, and some in the Hispanic community are asking these questions:

Did De La Roca hang himself when federal agents entered the apartment because he feared deportation? Was he already dead before agents arrived? Why didn’t agents force the locked bedroom door?

Did immigration authorities pursue Montufar after seeing his picture on television and in the paper?

“It’s a coincidence,” a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said of Montufar’s arrest so soon after the publicity.

Paula Grenier, the ICE spokeswoman in Boston, said Montufar was arrested on an outstanding administrative deportation warrant.

The ProJo also reports that Marisol's mother, Carmen L. Marrero, is here legally from Puerto Rico.

ADDENDUM: Incidentally, Andrew clears up confusion on the ProJo's weird note that Marrero is "here legally" from Puerto Rico, here. I had one of those, "that looks weird" moments but parroted it anyway. My bad.

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"Why didn’t agents force the locked bedroom door?"

Because if they had forced that door and there were 20 people huddling in the corner the sympathizers would be in court as we speak trying to get the raid tossed out.

Posted by: Greg at January 7, 2008 10:18 AM

i did this job (INS agent)prior to the formation of ICE for 21 years and had a great deal of experience with similar situations(not the hanging;never happened on a case i was involved in)-sometimes these apartments are subdivided and the rooms are rented separately,making it a legal nightmare during a sweep(not search)of the premises incident to an arrest for the purposes of officer security-it's a judgement call and i won't second guess these officers,but my practice was to check out the entire premises for the safety of myself and fellow agents because i liked the idea of getting home in one piece after a shift-i learned this lesson early on when i was assigned to the anti smuggling unit in chicago-myself and another agent were requested by border patrol anti smuggling in mcallen,tx to check out a suburban address and ask the occupant why his car was used to transport a group of smuggled aliens-we interviewed him and arrested him and his wife as illegals-i noticed about 20 wallets on a kitchen counter,both men's and women's and all had various cards,etc indicating the owners were not the people we had arrested-there was also a locked bedroom door-i asked who was in there and was told-no one-it's just for storage-i knocked,got no response and broke in the door to discover two illegal aliens in two separate beds-a cursory search under the mattress of one bed revealed a loaded sawed off rifle and a loaded semi auto handgun-along with ammo for yet another type of handgun-we quickly secured all four occupants and subsequently found a large quantity of cash and credit cards belonging to other people-we never found the second handgun-the point here being that these illegals were also involved in smuggling, robbery,and firearms violations and by not making the premises secure incident to an arrest we would have been taking an unecessary risk-by the way our initial entry to the apartment was by consent of the first arrestee when we identified ourselves and explained the purpose of our visit-you often have no idea what to expect on these type of operations-worksite enforcement operations are somewhat more routine though not always

Posted by: joe at January 7, 2008 10:52 AM

accuracy note:the media have used the term "here legally" from Puerto Rico-anyone born there or to Puerto Rican parents anywhere in the world is a US citizen same as any other American

Posted by: joe at January 7, 2008 11:14 AM


You'll have to take my word for it, I was writing my correction at the same time you were writing yours.

This also means that Mynor Montufar could have (and presumably still can) become an American citizen simply by marrying the mother of his child.

But why play by the rules, when advocates will assert you should get all of the rights, without taking on any of the responsibilities...

Posted by: Andrew at January 7, 2008 11:47 AM

"simply by marrying the mother . . ."

But what if he's already married to someone else?

Posted by: brassband at January 7, 2008 5:17 PM

"Why didn’t agents force the locked bedroom door?"

They were damned if they did and damned if they didn't.

I'm the first to complain about a government official or agency abusing its powers. From what I've read and heard, ICE is remarkably professional, including in this case where they went out of their way to be courteous by not breaking a door down.

Is it the position of the ACLU and advocacy groups that ICE should break more doors down when they exercise a warrant? Or, more likely, do they simply want the US to stop enforcing its laws and blur its borders?

The mistake was ours. We became lax for some time in the enforcement of hiring and immigration laws and lulled people into a false sense of security and entitlement. With sincere apologies, we are now correcting that mistake.

Posted by: Monique at January 7, 2008 10:13 PM
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