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Dear PoPville – Nanny Profiling in Columbia Heights Playgrounds – Is this for real?

by Prince Of Petworth November 28, 2012 at 1:30 pm 44 Comments


Trolley Park at 11th and Monroe St, NW

Dear PoPville,

I saw this posting up on the Columbia Heights Yahoo Group. Wondering if anyone else can verify the story. If so, are the ICE/Homeland Security People for real? Sounds like a possible scam to me. Either way, very troubling. We have an Aupair for our two kids with legit visa etc. Anyone questioning her status in public and in the District can f**k off in my opinion. Original posting below.
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I’m hopeful you can help put a stop to this harassment that’s occurring at our playgrounds and in our community.

Over the last ~2 mos Homeland Security/ICE have been questioning nannies AT playgrounds in Columbia Heights (Girard St Park 14th / Monroe 11st Park — “Trolley Park”). There are 2 SUVs that sit near the parks, black Escalade /black Suburban (w/4 African American women seated in the SUVs). In some cases the women in the SUVs get out and question the nannies at the park (IN FRONT of children) — and in other cases they FOLLOW the nannies home from the park and question them on the street (also in front of children). They question only the minority nannies — and seem to approach them randomly.

In one case, a woman began questioning a nanny AT the park on Girard St — pretending she was interested in securing nanny employment, asking how this nanny secured her job. The nanny explained to her that she got her job via an agency and earnestly offered to help the woman and provide the agency phone number. Later, as the nanny was leaving the park with the two children she was caring for, the same woman, approached the same nanny and showed her badge indicating she was with Homeland Security and demanded her name, address, and other information.

In another example, a nanny left Trolley Park, an SUV followed her for a few blocks. Then pulled in front of her as she was walking down the street with the stroller– then a woman got out, began calling her ma’am repeatedly trying to get her attention — then asked her how she got her job.

In one case, after questioning a nanny, the nanny was arrested (14th and Girard).

I don’t know the nanny who was arrested but I do know the other two nannies well– and I can say with certainty they were unjustly and randomly harassed.

As a mother, I don’t like how our federal gov’t is enforcing their power in front of our children — and as a community member, I don’t like the fear that’s being instilled in our neighborhood. I don’t like our nannies / members of our community being profiled, followed, and harassed — in front of our young children. WHILE they are working.

Of course, I don’t have context for why this is happening. This seems like another case of the fed gov’t displaying their power in our neighborhood out of convenience — with no real motive or strategy just under the umbrella of the “Secure Communities Act”.

I would like this to stop. What can you do to help?

What can I do as a community member to stop this egregious harassment that’s occurring in front of our children?

This morning MPD wrote to the Columbia Heights listserv:

“The federal agencies contacted for mpd is not doing such stops or operations.”

Has anyone else seen these SUVs?

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