Thursday, September 1, 2011

Mistake raid shocks disabled veteran in San Benito (KGBT-TX)

Mistake raid shocks disabled veteran in San Benito
by Amber Dixon
Posted: 08.31.2011 at 11:16 PM

Immigration and Customs Enforcement raided the home of disabled veteran Alfredo Lopez last week.

Although they did not find anything, 60-year-old Lopez said the scare he got gave him severe heart palpitations.

He stayed in the hospital two days.

Alfredo Lopez said he was showering when Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents surrounded his home.

He said he got out of his shower and saw an ICE agent outside his bathroom window.

With no shirt on, Lopez shuffled to the front door.

Lopez uses a cane after an aneurysm paralyzed his left side.

“I mean seeing those guys took the breath out of me,” said Lopez.

Lopez said ICE agents were looking for illegal immigrants.

"I said you're welcome to come in and check,” said Lopez. “Because I mean I was surprised. Where in the heck would there be any illegals here?"

Lopez said agents searched every room and even his shed.

He said they came up empty-handed and apologized.

“They need better intelligence,” Lopez said.

The shock of the raid affected Lopez’s health.

“My blood pressure has gone up, and I think I got scared,” said Lopez.

After spending two days in the hospital, Lopez now wears a heart monitor.

In a week, he'll go back to the doctor to make sure his heart is beating at a safe rate.

Lopez said he no longer feels safe in his home.

Action 4 News asked ICE why Lopez's home was raided, and if ICE agents conduct raids differently when a disabled person is involved.

They issued the following statement:

“U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) welcomes feedback from members of the public, especially regarding their involvement with recent ICE HSI operations.

ICE is able to most efficiently look into complaints when they are brought directly to our attention.

ICE HSI special agents conduct operations on a daily basis based on leads that we receive from various sources.

ICE is committed to conducting safe and secure operations with the public’s welfare being paramount.”

Lopez said his health was not taken into consideration.

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