Society

Man Is Hit By Car, Cop Questions His Immigration Status (Video)

| by Michael Allen

Marcos Antonio Huete was hit by a pickup truck while bicycling to work in Key West, Florida, on April 27 (video below).

A police body camera caught a Monroe County sheriff's deputy questioning Huete about his immigration status before calling for medical care, notes Univision.

"You illegal?" the deputy asked. "Are you a legal citizen or no? Speak English? You got ID? Passport, visa, or what?"

A second officer reportedly asked Huete in Spanish if he needed medical care.

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Huete, who is an undocumented immigrant from Honduras, was eventually treated at a local hospital.

Huete's sister Olga said that after her brother was released from the hospital, a cop instructed them to go back to the accident scene.

"He did not tell us why, but we went back because my brother had not done anything," Olga recalled. "We had no reason to flee."

After Huete returned to the accident scene, a Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles officer fined him $75 for allegedly obstructing/hindering traffic.

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The FHP officer ruled that the driver was not at fault because Huete "darted out in front" of the pickup truck when the vehicle turned right on a crosswalk and hit the rear tire of Huete's bicycle.

Border Patrol agents showed up at the accident scene and requested to see Huete's papers.

Huete was subsequently transported to the Krome Detention Center near Miami, where he has been detained for almost a month. He could possibly face deportation.

Olga believes authorities blamed her brother for being the victim, and allowed the pickup truck driver to leave "as if it was nothing."

"The fact that we do not have papers does not mean that we do not have rights," Olga added.

The Border Patrol confirmed that the FHP communicated with Border Patrol agents "to assist in the identification of the subject (Huete)," and added that this kind of communication between the law enforcement agencies is "rare."

According to the Border Patrol, Huete has a 2010 deportation order, and faces criminal charges for re-entering the U.S. after previously being deported.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office said there is "no official policy" on notifying immigration authorities about people who may be in the country illegally.

Some immigrants in Key West have said certain deputies have seemed bent on getting them deported since the presidential election, The Blue Paper reports.

The newspaper notes that Key West officials do not generally support asking for people's immigration papers, but some deputies do.

Howard Simon, executive director of the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, told Univision about the negative effects of police inquiring about immigration status:

"Asking for immigration status to a person after being hit by a car offends human rights sensitivity and is very counterproductive for effective law enforcement," he said. "The moment these agents become the mass deportation force of President [Donald] Trump will be the end of any cooperation between immigrant communities in the United States and the local police."

Sources: Univision, The Blue Paper / Photo Credit: Famartin/Wikimedia

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