The Jack Booted Immigration Police

The New York Times has the story of an American citizen who saw her home raided by police and ICE twice looking for an illegal immigrant who wasn’t there:

Peggy Delarosa-Delgado, a United States citizen, Long Island homeowner and mother of three, was fast asleep when someone banged at the door before 6 a.m. last Thursday.

Her son Christopher, 17, a high school senior, opened the door, and more than a dozen federal immigration agents and one Suffolk County police officer pushed past him, he said later.

Only after the agents had herded her other children into the living room, frightened her aunt and uncle, and drawn a gun on a family friend staying in the basement, Ms. Delarosa-Delgado said, did she awake to discover that her house in Huntington Station had been the mistaken target of a raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

It was not the first time. In the summer of 2006, she said, agents waving the same photo of a deportable immigrant named Miguel had stormed into her house before dawn. No Miguel has ever lived there, she said — at least not since she bought the place in 2003.

This time, the raid on her house was part of a series of antigang sweeps on Long Island. The raids, which resulted in 186 immigrant arrests, were denounced by officials in Nassau County as riddled with mistakes and marked by misconduct. But on Ms. Delarosa-Delgado’s side of the county line, the Suffolk County police commissioner, Richard Dormer, hailed the sweeps as a successful operation that made the community safer.

Ms. Delarosa-Delgado, 42, a school aide who was born in the Dominican Republic, moved to the United States 24 years ago and became a citizen in 1990, does not feel safer.

“It’s not right,” she said. “My kids were scared. They had to sit in the living room like little criminals.”

There was a time when we actually welcomed people who wanted to come here and find a better life. Now, we drag them away in the middle of the night.