Drug Raid Leads to Alleged Abuse by ICE Agents

A family in Norco, California, is facing deportation after US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials raided their home in July looking for drugs and drug traffickers, NBC Los Angeles reports.

However, the family claims that ICE agents kicked, beat and scratched the family during the raid while verbally threatening them. Carmen Bonilla, 46, a member of the family, went to the hospital after the raid to treat her wounds.

During the unsuccessful raid, ICE officials learned that eight people in the home were in the country illegally. An immigration attorney working with the family says that this information should not be used against them because the raid was looking for drugs, not immigrants. An ICE spokeswoman said that four adult males were immediately placed in removal proceedings at the scene, while four others were scheduled for later processing dates.

According to the Public Policy Institute of California, the number of foreign-born residents in California has increased from 1.8 million in 1970 to 10 million in 2009. The state also has the highest percentage of immigrants in its population than any other state. California’s immigrants make up 27 percent of the population. Nearly half of these immigrants, however, have become naturalized US citizens.