The following videos from local Bakersfield and Fresno media depict one of the more bizarre immigration cases we have ever seen. Basically, Ruth Montaño is facing possible deportation because her dogs made too much noise. Yes, we are not kidding.
Here is the report in English:
According to a local story, police responded to the complaints of the loud dogs on December 31, 2012. Then a police report stated “that Montaño became agitated, kicked a deputy, and resisted arrest. The 39-year-old mother denies the allegations and claims that deputies became irritated when she questioned them. She said she was thrown against a patrol car and handcuffed in the presence of her children.”
Montaño was then taken to jail, where “U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement placed an immigration ‘detainer’ or hold on Montaño.” This led to the American Civil Liberties Union getting involved, and according to the story, an ACLU staff attorney called the charges “bogus,” and also said the following: “We see local sheriff’s motivated by someone’s immigration status to make an arrest that had no basis in the law.”
The story also indicated that the Kern County Sheriff Office’s “would not comment on the matter as the case is now pending with the American Civil Liberties Union.”
Finally, the story concludes with this:
Montaño was released from custody after pleading guilty to one count of resisting arrest. The other charge of maintaining a animal that makes excessive noise was dismissed. Montaño said she took the plea deal when she learned she would then be released and that she would be able to care for her children.
But she now faces an immigration hearing in September.
“I don’t know if they are going to allow me to stay or if they are going to deport me,” said Montaño.
Yesterday, NBC Latino’s Sandra Lilley covered a story about how the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) and other groups were calling for a halt to the deportation of low-priority cases. NDLON used Montaño as a specific example of why the current enforcement-first policy is just broken.
…NDLON said this is an example of what they called the “ludicrous overreach of ICE,” and urged the passage of state TRUST Acts, which limit state law enforcement officials’ interactions with federal immigration authorities. Under a state’s TRUST Act, for example, local law enforcement could release undocumented immigrants despite requests from ICE for detention as long as the immigrants do not pose a serious threat. NDLON used the example of Ruth Montaño, a Bakersfield, California mother who was held for a week on an ICE “hold” after police responded to complaints of her barking dogs. She is now facing deportation.
All because of a few barking dogs.