When a Washington State carpenter called the police on a trespasser, cops arrested him instead and turned him over to federal immigration enforcement.
Wilson Rodriguez Macareno was arrested on Thursday morning by police in Tukwila, a Seattle suburb, after calling 911 on an intruder, according to KIRO 7. Police did not arrest the intruder due to a lack of probable cause, The Seattle Times reported, but they arrested Rodriguez after discovering a 14-year-old warrant issued for him by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement. Rodriguez has been held at a nearby detention center since Thursday.
Rodriguez's lawyer Luis Cortes told The Daily Beast that deportation for his client, a 32-year-old father of three, is a “realistic possibility,” said Cortes. The carpenter fled to the United States 14 years ago to escape violence in Honduras. “His brother was shot and killed, and one of his friends was chopped up in pieces in El Salvador,” Cortes claimed.
In his hometown community, Rodriguez actively participates in church and helped increase the Spanish-speaking congregation, according to his attorney.
Police said they discovered Rodriguez's warrant from 2004 when running his information through the National Crime Information Center database, but “it was later determined that the warrant in question was administrative in nature and that it had been entered in the...database the same way a criminal warrant would have been entered.”
Rodriguez's attorney, Cortes, said his client had a “run in with immigration officials in Texas” in 2004 and received an “in absentia order” from ICE when he missed a court hearing to review his deportation case. According to the American Immigration Council, immigration judges can issue an in absentia order when the government has properly notified undocumented immigrants of their court dates.
Cortes said he plans to fight the deportation by trying to reopen the 2004 case and request a hearing before an immigration judge. If the request for a stay of deportation based on merit fails, Rodriguez “will be deported back to Honduras in a matter of days,” said Cortes.
Tukwila police said “going forward, officers will not be responsive to administrative warrants issued by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, nor will it collaborate with the agency.”
Correction: This article previously misspelled the subject's name and referred to him as "Macareno" instead of "Rodriguez." We regret the error.