A 3-hour back and forth between Octavio Martínez—a Santa Ana, California resident—and several Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents yielded favorable results on Tuesday. Martínez, who is an immigrant with reportedly no criminal record, knew his rights.
“[I asked them to] show me the papers signed by the judge,” Martínez told Univision. “I said ‘show me and I’ll take a photo to send to my lawyer.’”
Martínez, who was reportedly en route to pick up a friend and go to work, was surrounded by agents before he even moved his vehicle. They allegedly identified as Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and threatened to use a Taser if he didn’t comply. Family and friends rushed to the scene, but Martínez remained in his car for three hours or until the agents aborted the mission.
“They didn’t have anything [on me],” he said.
The fact that his lawyer was readily available, his car was stationed and Martínez knew to remain calm but unrelenting, were all factors in the day’s positive outcome.
“If his car was moving, [the ICE agents] could have claimed that the person was going to escape and this would have been a different story,” said Antonio Bernabé of Know Your Rights.
A few miles away in the same city, ICE reportedly attempted to arrest a man named Álvaro García sans warrant. He didn’t open the door.
Organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), iAmerica and Make The Road have situation-specific resources to help you understand your rights when approached by ICE or local police.