An immigration attorney said an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer broke her foot and locked her in a room early Tuesday morning in Kansas City, Missouri.
Andrea Martinez told The Daily Beast she was dropping off a 3-year-old immigrant at an ICE facility to be reunited with his mother before they are to be deported to Honduras. Martinez said she was accompanying the boy, his pregnant mother, and his mother’s boyfriend—all of whom are undocumented—into an ICE field office, but Martinez was denied access. That’s when Martinez said she was “knocked to the ground and bloodied” by an ICE officer.
An ICE official provided this statement to The Daily Beast: “Early in the morning of June 26 an incident occurred at the Kansas City ICE office while ICE ERO officers were attempting to reunite a mother with a family member. We take any allegations against ICE personnel very seriously and are looking into the matter. Until a review of the documentary evidence is completed, ICE can issue no further public comment on the matter.”
A few dozen activists accompanied Martinez and her law partner, Megan Galicia, to protest the deportations. Initially, Martinez said she thought the boy would be reunited with his mother in the parking lot of the ICE office. Instead, ICE officials decided to reunite them inside the building, away from protesters and cameras, according to Martinez.
Martinez said that is when she and Galicia tried to follow their 3-year-old client into the room in the building where he would be reunited with his mother. An ICE officer blocked them from going inside, she said.
“He slammed the door on us,” Martinez said. “The ICE officer pushed us out and didn’t let us follow our three-year-old client into the lobby, and then pushed me to the ground. I was wearing high heels, so that’s when my foot was fractured and my leg got all bloody. And then my pants ripped. But then he called me back in and detained me for another forty minutes or an hour.”
Martinez said in a statement the ICE officer called the Federal Protective Service and “continually looked at my phone to make sure I wasn’t recording him.”
“He locked me in an office where I couldn’t get out and he didn’t let me call 9-1-1 or use the phone or anything,” Martinez continued. “And I told him, ‘I’m bleeding, I’m bleeding, can you at least get me a first aid kit?’ And he said, ‘No, it’s not severe enough.’ And then my foot started swelling.”
Martinez said she was taken to the emergency room on a stretcher.
The woman’s partner, Luis, was subsequently detained, Martinez said.
“They still have Luis detained, which is a big concern because they had told us yesterday that they were not going to be detaining Luis,” she added. Martinez said they have put Luis into removal proceedings.
Martinez’s law partner, Galicia, called the events “surreal.”
“It was traumatic, but we’re doing OK, and Andrea got the medical attention she needed,” she added.
Updated on 6/27/18 at 11:20 a.m. to include ICE statement.