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ICE agents pretend to be doctors treating Coronavirus, unethically detain father of six

Yudith's husband was detained when a group ICE agents raided their home pretending to be doctors. Now, a non-profit is fighting to bring him back.

ICE agents pretend to be doctors treating Coronavirus, unethically detain father of six
Image Source: Luca Silvestro Santilli/EyeEm/Getty Images

As the Coronavirus outbreak continues across the United States, citizens are scared and confused. If they are not paralyzed by the fear of contracting the deadly disease, several people are similarly worried about losing their jobs or not being able to stock up on household essentials due to shutdowns. Needless to say, the American public has its hands full. During this challenging time, it appears that ICE has used the epidemic to its sick advantage. In light of the COVID-19 panic, a group of ICE agents pretended to be doctors and gained entry into a household. After raiding the house, they picked up Yudith's husband - a father of six - and detained him. Sanctuary DMV, a volunteer group that supports immigrants by providing legal help, has since initiated a GoFundMe fundraiser to support the family.


The incident came to light when the non-profit group took to Twitter in order to share Yudith's story. They posted last week, "Yudith's husband was detained in a particularly heinous raid by ICE agents: they pretended to be doctors to get into their home... Yudith is under intense pressure right now. She's supporting a family of six children, one of whom has special needs, and paying legal fees to get her husband out of detention." Without her husband, the wife is at a loss of how to support her family. Therefore, Sanctuary DMV set up a fundraiser on GoFundMe with a goal of $7,500.


Explaining more about Yudith and her family's situation, they wrote, "Yudith is a wife and mother of six children whose husband has been detained by ICE. Yudith’s family has been the target of draconian tactics by ICE; agents pretended to be doctors in order to raid their home and detain her husband under these deceptive circumstances. He has lived in this area for over 20 years." The organization clarified that they are working with Yudith to raise funds to pay immediate expenses, such as rent, utilities, and legal fees, and help bring her husband home. In just a few days, thousands of people came to the wife's support. The non-profit has raised a whopping $12,157 thus far, almost twice initial goal.


During this public health crisis, it is sick that ICE would resort to such deceptive tactics. Families should be focusing on ensuring they are healthy and safe from the deadly virus, and no one should be forced into detainment, where they are likely to spread the disease. Sanctuary DMV affirmed, "Yudith’s situation is devastating. It is yet another example of how the destructive nature of ICE and US immigration policy can throw entire [families'] lives into the fray." At present, while it is unclear if the ICE agents involved will be held accountable for impersonation (as impersonating medical professionals is a crime), the non-profit is working on getting Yudith's husband out on bond. They shared in a tweet, "[The] next step is to try to get Yudith's husband out on bond. Your donations will help greatly [with her] case [and] shelter. As she's in a very vulnerable position, she's not speaking [with] press [right now]." To stay updated on Yudith's case, you can follow Sanctuary DMV on Twitter.


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