Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Yale Law Clinic Files Lawsuit Against Unconstitutional ICE Raids In New Haven, CT In 2007

As reported by Esther Zuckerman and Colin Ross of the Yale Daily News in their story Immigrants sue feds over 2007 raids (October 28, 2009), ten residents of New Haven, Connecticut are filing a lawsuit on October 28, 2009 against ICE agents (Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents) along with their supervisors for conducting what the lawsuit claims are illegal ICE raids in New Haven, CT in 2007.

On June 6, 2007, ICE agents conducted raids and detained 29 residents of New Haven. According to some of the raid victims, ICE Agents broke into their homes without permission and arrested several people for no reason. These allegations are similar to allegations around the United States of ICE agents conducting raids without judicial warrants and allegedly breaking into people's homes without permission and illegally arresting them.

Around two dozen cases either have been fought or are being fought in immigration court, often including motions to suppress any illegally obtained evidence or a motion to terminate the proceedings due to illegal government conduct. This effort would seek monetary damages, which if successful might be another way to discourage government officials from engaging in illegal conduct against people who live in the United States.

One controversial issue is whether senior ICE officials essentially endorsed illegal raids by pressuring regional ICE offices to make high quotas for arrests, increasing the goal for an enforcement team from 125 per year to 1,000 per year.

Not many people (whether citizens or not) will have the resources to challenge the government if they are the victim of illegal ICE raids. One positive step would be to apply the exclusionary rule in immigration court to suppress evidence that the government illegally obtains through what many critics consider widespread violations of people's Fourth Amendment rights.


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