Saturday, April 28, 2007

Widespread Constitutional Violations By ICE -- Now Spawning Lawsuits

There are many reports of widespread violations by the immigration authorities (ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement) who conduct illegal searches and seizures. The searches violate the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution along with similar provisions in various state Constitutions.

One way to raise this issue is to ask that the immigration judge suppress all evidence that ICE illegally obtained. Under the Supreme Court decision of INS v. Lopez-Mendoza, 468 U.S. 1032 (1984), the Supreme Court said that based on the conditions in 1984, it would only suppress evidence for egregious Fourth Amendment violations, but kept an open mind if there was proof in the future of widespread Fourth Amendment violations. Well, the time has come to litigate the issue of whether the exclusionary rule must apply in immigration court for all illegal searches and seizures! This issue is actually part of a big appeal with the Third Circuit in Philadelphia.

Another way to raise the issue is to file lawsuits against the immigration authorities for their illegal searches and seizures. Two examples are how the ACLU and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights for the San Francisco Bay Area announced on April 26, 2007 that they were filing a lawsuit on behalf of Kebin Reyes, a United States citizen child who was illegally swept up by ICE in a March 2007 San Rafael, California raid. Here is a link to the ACLU Page On The Lawsuit.

Another example of a lawsuit is Arias v. ICE, filed on April 19, 2007 in Minnesota to challenge how ICE conducted illegal searches and seizures during various raids. Here is a link to the Bender's Immigration Daily copy of the complaint.


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