Tukwila Police face backlash after immigrant father who called 911 landed in ICE custody
TUKWILA, Wash. - Tukwila police claim they will no longer respond to immigration warrants from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), after the department faced backlash when a Honduran father who called 911 for help landed in ICE custody.
Wilson Rodriquez Macerreno, 32, and a father of three young children, has been detained at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma since last Thursday.
"What really struck me was the police themselves would go and arrest the victim," said Juan Jose Bocanegra, an immigration advocate with El Comite.
Macerreno, an immigrant from Honduras, was worried about a prowler outside his home. He panicked and called his neighbors, Mark and Karen Wendt.
"Anxious, he was conveying the fact that said someone was trying to break into his house," said Karen Wendt.
Police found the suspect, and as a part of department policy, ran a background check on both the suspect and the victim.
That's when police discovered an outstanding warrant for Macerreno.
It turned out, it was about his immigration status and they turned him over to ICE.
Community members packed the Tukwila City Council's meeting Monday night to voice concern.
"We will continue with community engagement to ensure we are there for them and to rebuild any trust that has been broken," Tukwila Police Deputy Chief Rick Mitchell told the crowd.
Tukwila Police said while its policy is to not ask about immigration status or nationality, they do act on outstanding warrants.
The department said it didn't learn until later Macerreno's warrant was not criminal, but was linked to a deportation, which is a type of administrative warrant they insist they had never seen in the national database before.
"Administrative deportation orders of removal are, in fact, now being entered into NCIC the same way criminal warrants would be," said Deputy Chief Mitchell.
"It almost makes me wish he didn't call the police," said Karen Wendt.
Ant that's exactly what Tukwila police don't want to happen.
"It is vital that every member of our community feel safe and comfortable when calling our department for help," said Deputy Chief Mitchell.
KOMO News reached out to ICE and we're still waiting for a response.
The Tukwila City Council will hold a community meeting on Thursday to talk about immigration safety.
That meeting is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. at the Church by The Side of the Road located at 3455 S 148th St. in Tukwila.