OCTOBER 07, 2008
A Connecticut federal judge has ordered hearings to determine whether the Constitutional rights of illegal immigrants—some of whom ignored deportation orders—were violated by federal agents who arrested them.
The case involves last summer’s arrest of 31 illegal immigrants by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents in the New Haven area. More than half had pending court cases in Hartford and five had been previously deported yet continued living in the area.
During a regional roundup of such violators, federal agents arrested the group last June and immigration advocates immediately accused authorities of racial profiling. Attorneys representing the illegal immigrants argued that the federal agents violated the U.S. Constitution’s fourth and fifth amendments by conducting illegal searches, lacking probable cause and arresting people based on race.
Like many of his colleagues around the country, a federal immigration judge (Michael Straus) in Hartford sided with the illegal aliens’ pro bono advocate attorneys and ordered the hearings this week to determine the constitutionality of the raids. They are scheduled to begin before the end of the month.
New Haven offers illegal immigrants sanctuary which means police or city officials won’t report them to federal authorities for deportation. Last year the city became the first in the U.S. to issue municipal identification cards to illegal aliens so that they could enjoy public services and integrate into the community.
Similar illegal immigrant sanctuaries exist across the nation and a growing number openly offer taxpayer-financed services to undocumented residents. Texas alone has about a dozen illegal immigrant sanctuary cities and practically every municipality in California—most notoriously Los Angeles and San Francisco—is a sanctuary. Other well-known sanctuaries include Chicago, Phoenix, New York and New Jersey.
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