Lawyer For Haverhill Man Detained by Immigration Agents Reveals Story

Attorney Petronila Veras-Rizwan of Lynn. (Courtesy photograph.)

An Ecuadorean man, now conclusively identified by WHAV as the target of a U.S. immigration raid at a Main Street apartment last month, has been released on a $4,000 bond by a Boston immigration judge.

The early-30s man, who has lived in Haverhill for more than 10 years, was targeted by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency—known as ICE—during one of at least two recent raids. Contrary to established protocols, ICE activity was apparently undertaken without the knowledge of the Haverhill Police Department. Local reports of ICE raids, first made public by Haverhill City Councilor Andy Vargas Feb. 16, had been met in some quarters with skepticism. The detained man’s lawyer, Petronila Veras-Rizwan of Lynn, however, confirmed details in an exclusive interview with WHAV Thursday.

“ICE actually entered the apartment without consent and started looking through bedroom doors. My client’s door was actually ajar and they actually came in without permission,” Veras-Rizwan said.

WHAV has agreed not to identify the man by name because of his fear of retaliation for speaking with the press. He is in a relationship with another Ecuadorean woman and they have two U.S.-born children—a three-year-old girl and a six-month-old boy. While the parents entered the country illegally, the children are U.S. citizens by virtue of the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Veras-Rizwan, associated with the firm of Murray and Associates, said her client was not the original target of the Valentine’s Day raid. Instead, she said, ICE pulled over an automobile driven by a target who lives in the same building. An agent then commandeered the car.

“They had him move over and drove the car to his house.” ICE agents entered the home as the family was getting their daughter ready for pre-school, the lawyer said.

“You have a constitutional right—your home is your castle. He didn’t give them permission to go into his room. They just went in.”

She said her client does not have a record as a violent criminal—the justification cited by the Trump administration for the raids—but years ago served probation for driving-related offenses. As an alien, she explained, he was ineligible for a driver’s license. He was first taken to the ICE field office in Burlington, and then transferred to the Plymouth County Correctional Facility, Plymouth.

Asked to speculate why ICE chose Haverhill to conduct a raid, Veras-Rizwan said, “What I’ve heard is that they just target areas where they know there’s illegal immigrants, and then they just go and then they just start asking them questions.”

ICE’s first recent appearance in Haverhill was a week earlier, on Feb. 8, when three other people were detained, Veras-Rizwan said.

Although the man’s companion also entered the country illegally, she was not held. The attorney speculated the presence of children complicated the matter.

“The children would have to be placed into DCF custody, which is a state agency, and then it might come out that they’re doing these raids.”

Haverhill Police: ICE Did Not Notify the Department

On that point, WHAV asked Haverhill police about the secret operation.

“It’s unusual we would not be notified,” said Detective Lt. Robert P. Pistone, police spokesman. “The Haverhill Police Department has no knowledge of ICE being in the city in the last 30 days—detaining or picking anyone up.” Although contrary to protocols used in the past, he said, no agency is mandated to inform the department.

Asked if she believes the Obama Administration would have also conducted such a raid, the lawyer responded, “No, this is definitely because of Trump. Our caseloads have gone up. People are afraid.”

Raising the $4,000 bond was not easy, she said. In the end, family members and parishioners at a Haverhill church came up with the money. The bond was arranged by attorney Tamara Murray, head of the law firm. A hearing before Judge Day is expected within two weeks.

“We’re going to ask for a cancellation of removal based on the fact that he has two U.S.-born children.”

Besides the children, Veras-Rizwan said, another ground for stopping any deportation hearing is the man’s presence in the country for more than 10 years. Because of the backlog of immigration cases, she believes final rulings aren’t expected until 2019 or 2020.

Because of the length of time involved, immigration law requires issuance of a work authorization and, therefore, a social security number. Once he has a social security number, the man will be able to legally obtain a driver’s license, she said.

26 thoughts on “Lawyer For Haverhill Man Detained by Immigration Agents Reveals Story

    • They STILL should be deported, if only as an example for other criminal invaders who are planning to do the same thing as these criminal invaders have done. Sooner rather than later, they will begin to understand that the law is the law, and there is no getting around it so they will stay home.

      One has to be willing to suffer the consequences for one’s behavior. After all, if a U.S. CITIZEN commits a crime, the piper must be paid. Why then should a criminal invader who does NOT belong in this country, get away scott free?

    • Maybe the Invaders will act like parents and take their kids back with them? You know, since they didn’t want to take personal responsibility for breaking the laws of the land, maybe they can start taking personal responsibility for once in their life? Or, they can let DCF raise their kids or foster care and watch them implode, maybe end up in jail, life of crime, drug dealing etc? You know, great success stories.

      Hopefully they are all sent packing, send a message that for once this country’s laws and sovereignty are once again respected and enforced the way they were intended. Let’s see how many Invaders want to violate our sovereignty knowing that if they drop an anchor baby, it will be ripped from their hands while they are sent packing.

      It’s beautiful to see the restoration and some semblance of a return to a rule of law. The Invaders can take their Third World hell-hole bullshit with them.

    • Mike thanks for your fiscal advice….but raising 2 kids is probably cheaper than supporting a family of 4…gotta live the part about driving without a license…because he couldn’t get one…does anyone care that both of these people broke the law and put their children at risk?

  1. “We’re going to ask for a cancellation of removal based on the fact that he has two U.S.-born children.” What nonsense! This criminal invader KNEW that he was at risk for deportation, and came to the US anyway, and in addition, had two US born children so he could — hopefully, generate sympathy and cry to the courts that it would separate his family if he is deported. Deport them all!

    “Raising the $4,000 bond was not easy, she said. In the end, family members and parishioners at a Haverhill church came up with the money.” I would be curious to know WHICH CHURCH AND WHICH PARISHIONERS contributed to this criminal invader’s bond. If it is MY church, I will cut off my contributions in a heart beat! — Of course, I will never know, because no church wants to publicize this information.

    Criminal Invader’s attorney said, “Her client does not have a record as a violent criminal—the justification cited by the Trump administration for the raids—but years ago served probation for driving-related offenses.” Two strikes against this criminal invader — entering the US ILLEGALLY, and DRIVING RELATED OFFENSES. Must have been driving without a license, and created some other form of disturbance. He should have been deported when he was stopped for “driving-related offenses.” These two issues alone, are enough to deport this criminal invader.

    Sick and tired of supporting these people who do not belong here; I DO NOT WANT my tax dollars to be spent on CRIMINAL INVADERS. Duncan’s remarks above which talk about the cost to educate and support people who do not even belong in this country are right on! This in addition to the myriad of other costs involved in supporting these people.

    AND, NO, this is definitely NOT because of Trump. This is a situation brought on merely because this man CHOSE to break into the US. If people are so afraid, they should GO BACK TO WHEREVER THEY CAME FROM. But, they choose to be afraid because of all of the “goodies” that they receive from American Taxpayers. —– Sad, sad, sad! LEGAL IMMIGRATION, Yes —-

    • You’ll cut off contributions to your church if you find out it’s extended help to a suffering family? Seriously? Is that what you think Jesus would do?

      • You betcha! These “suffering families” should not even be here; they should be in their HOME COUNTRY, or stay at home. As far as what Jesus would do, do you really believe he would condone them being here in the first place?

          • And we will all go broke in the process because there are more people who want to come to the United States than we can handle, and we will be welcoming illegal invaders at our own peril.

            Still say they should stay at home to cope and improve conditions in their own country….. BUT, we will have to agree to disagree because neither of us intends to move to the other side..

      • Cee if you’re so concerned about supporting those less fortunate why don’t you start with US citizens who need help. Let’s put veterans on the top of that list followed by the homeless both of these groups have contributed part of their lives and have probably paid taxes also. I don’t know why it’s so trendy to support foreign criminals? Why don’t we reach out to the families of criminals that have been separated from their fathers/mothers? Shouldn’t we keep them all out of jail because they have children?…see how much sense this makes?

      • Cardinal O’Malley publicly stated that the Boston Arch Diodiocese is committed to providing financial support to families and individuals breaking the laws of this country and living here illegally.

        What kind of compassion do you think Jesus would have for people already burdened by the societal costs of these trespassers being here who then find the money they donated to the church is used to support the criminals who are already causing them harm?

        • EXACTLY! —- AND this is why I feel the way I do about criminal trespassers. They already have my money which is given to them by several governments and is beyond my control. NOW I should voluntarily give to my church so they can give away my money to people who don’t belong here also? NO WAY! In their wildest dreams they could not duplicate (earn the same amount of money if they work) the amount of money they are given through our tax dollars. And the costs don’t end there. Our schools are a mess, our police department is in disarray, they are not interested in assimilating, the list goes on and on.

          Now we should voluntarily donate to our churches so they can give OUR MONEY away to trespassers who don’t belong here?

          • If O’Malley stated that he realizes the costs of illegal invaders are causing harm to hard working families that are citizens of this country and that he is counciling the criminal trespassers to go home and then apply to enter this country legally, but that in the meantime his mission as an agent of the church is to provide compassionate care and assistance to them while they are here, then I believe people who feel as you do could support him. But he doesn’t have that position. He has taken a political position of supporting criminals and their illegal behavior. That Slipper, is why so many people believe exactly as you do.

  2. “Asked if she believes the Obama Administration would have also conducted such a raid, the lawyer responded, “No, this is definitely because of Trump. Our caseloads have gone up. People are afraid.”

    So their backlog of cases just must have happened in the last month then ? All of this chaos was organized in the last few weeks or so since Trumps inauguration ? Govt. does not move that fast as we all know. Obama deported over 3.5 million people, over 430k in in one year, 2103, alone. The backlog of cases has been going on for a while.

    Also, why is everyone surprised by these actions ? Finally the law is being applied AS WRITTEN and put forth by our duly elected Congress decades ago. These are our laws and if people do not wish to follow them then as with other laws, you will suffer the consequences.

    • Jack we live in the world of moon bats and liberals who don’t even know what they’re protesting about. Rebelling against the application of the immigration laws is their way of protesting. They are so angry and shocked that Hillary lost that they grab onto anything they can…I’ll tell you the world sure is crazy today!

  3. Great idea! Repeal that 14th Amendment! Let’s get rid of that pesky First Amendment too, so that our Great Leader is not offended by the nasty media. Who needs a silly Constitution and Bill of Rights, anyway? Damn liberals…

    • Sainty Claus let’s just enforce the laws! Jeez where’s the liberal anger from? The problem is that the US has been selectively enforcing law for the past 8 years…run by 2 totally corrupt and inept Attorneys General…everyone is so used to the Emperor’s New clothes from the last 8 years that the population forgot what is was like to have a real president without the biased media to prop him up and ask softball questions. I think I prefer the truth than the last 8 years of the snake oil salesman and his minions in Hollywood and the press.

    • Obviously you know nothing about the 14th Amendment. It’s original idea was to repatriate slaves’ having children. It has been bastardized by allowing people to purposely come here and have kids, knowing they will not be thrown out of the country. California in recent months, has been arresting crime rings of people who have created an industry of Asians coming here to have babies. If you feel so bad for these folks, then you open your wallet and support them.

  4. Twice the article indicates the person who was detained was a “target” by ICE officials. It then goes on to quote the person’s own attorney who said “her client was not the target of the Valentine’s Day raid”. Why the biased writing?

    There are two important take aways from this article. First is the urgent need for law bidding taxpayers in this country to repeal the provision in the 14th Amendment which provides that children born in this country to criminal trespassers from other countries in the USA illegally should be granted automatic citizenship. Should this illegal trespasser stay in Haverhill and put his two children through Haverhill Public Schools it will cost taxpayers $384,000.00 to educate them at current costs…$16,000.00 per student, per year. This is for JUST two kids!! How many Anchor Babies are attending Haverhill Public Schools? Dozens? Hundreds? It is currently costing Haverhill taxpayers just under $2MILLION in educational costs for every ten Anchor Babies attending HPS from grades 1 ~ 12. This is insane!!

    The other reason the 14th Amendment needs to be repealed is because it provides the ability for liberals to use the children as a justification for not punishing the parents for breaking the laws of this country. If the parents didn’t want to put their children in harms way by them potentially being deported, then they shouldn’t have broken the laws of this country.

    The fact that ICE did not contact Haverhill police absolutely confirms that Haverhill is officially a sanctuary city. If the Federal Government distrusts local police to the point of not communicating with them on issues that are normally standard operating procedure, that’s a glaring confirmation of how little they trust HPD and mayor Failurentini’s administration. It’s also confirmation of how the mayor has turned this city into a VERY dangerous place.

    Funny to see the quote about Obama slipped into this article. Of course this never would have happened under Obama!! Now that we’ve got a president who is actually committed to doing his sworn fiduciary duty of protecting the interests of Americans, and not providing safe haven for people breaking the laws of this country, hopefully we’ll see a lot more of this.

  5. This story is a picture perfect example of how ILLEGAL Immigration hurts Americans.

    “U.S. citizens by virtue of the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.” – That is a failure of CONgress to Amend a section of The Constitution meant for Black Slaves. Not for Invaders to enter The U.S., challenge our sovereignty, and drops some kids making the kids Citizens.

    “two U.S.-born children—a three-year-old girl and a six-month-old boy.” – Children of Invaders who will now use PUBLIC schools & resources, already overcrowded and lagging, thanks in part to Invaders.

    “served probation for driving-related offenses.” – Once again, using PUBLIC resources, paid for by Americans, in our criminal justice system for Invaders that should not be here in the first place.

    “would have to be placed into DCF custody” – More PUBLIC resources used because Invaders chose to BREAK OUR LAWS for their personal benefit.

    The entire case will now add to the backlog of our courts, and an example of how political ideology usurps the rule of law and challenges country’s sovereignty. There is a LEGAL way to enter and contribute to our country, we have enough problems with indigenous Americans, we do not need to add to the problems of our society by importing or allowing Invaders into this country. Or does the prior deported rapist that lived in Haverhill, not related to this case, not caused enough harm already?

    “No, this is definitely because of Trump” – This entire decades-long saga is the failure of BOTH political Party’s. Hopefully on this issue Trump delivers, as he platformed on, and delivers big.

    • David you forget who was in charge of the country for the past 8 years…let them in so they can vote for Democrats who in turn will protect the illegals (voters) just look at the politicians in our city pandering to their growing Illegal and liberal base…wow what courage it takes in this age to say you are a sanctuary city. It takes more courage to do the right thing and enforce the laws.

    • John who did you vote for in the Presidential election Hillary or Bernie? When someone you care about gets killed by an illegal immigrant who’s driving drunk without a license maybe you’ll care also. Is their something wrong with enforcing the laws? What happens when you run out of other people’s (taxpayer’s) money? To accommodate all of these criminals when you have American citizens that need help…I don’t get it! …but I’m sure that it’s therapeutic for liberals to condemn Trump for everything he does because they’re too immature to accept defeat. I lived with the last clown for 8 years but didn’t protest or unjustly accuse him of every problem in the world. i called him my president.