Judicial Watch • Judge Rules Illegal Immigrants Can Sue ICE For Rights Violations

Judge Rules Illegal Immigrants Can Sue ICE For Rights Violations

Judge Rules Illegal Immigrants Can Sue ICE For Rights Violations

DECEMBER 22, 2010

A Clinton-appointed judge has given a group of illegal immigrants the green light to sue the U.S. government for violating their constitutional rights during the operation that led to their apprehension.

Ruling that immigration agents and their supervisors can be sued for civil damages, Connecticut federal Judge Stefan Underhill cited the illegal aliens’ story that “defendant officers targeted a primarily Latino neighborhood, arrested people who appeared Latino, detained one plaintiff solely because he spoke Spanish and appeared Latino, and taunted one plaintiff’s girlfriend by saying the plaintiffs were being taken to see Mexican singer Juan Gabriel.”

The accusations are enough to “plausibly allege” that the federal immigration agents “were motivated by a discriminatory purpose,” Judge Underhill’s 43-page ruling goes on to say. Underhill refused to dismiss charges against the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents who captured the illegal immigrants as well as their supervisors, which at the time headed the agency under President George W. Bush.

The arrests took place during a 2007 fugitive operation in eastern New Haven. Around 30 people were apprehended in the early-morning raid and more than half were subsequently charged with being in the U.S. illegally. The eleven suing claim that agents entered their homes without cause, consent or search warrants and that authorities had no reason to assume they lacked legal status.

Their complaint also asserts that the feds deliberately conducted raids in New Haven to retaliate against the city for its well-publicized efforts to accommodate illegal immigrants. A few years ago New Haven became the nation’s first to offer illegal aliens official identification cards so that they can enjoy public services and integrate into the community. San Francisco followed its lead and began offering illegal immigrants ID cards this year.

Emboldened by such protections, illegal immigrants have filed a number of lawsuits against U.S. law enforcement agencies in the last few months. Earlier this year a Mexican woman who used a fake identity to work at a landscaping company sued an Arizona sheriff’s department for mistreating her during a workplace raid that led to the arrest of dozens of illegal immigrants.

With the help of their advocate pro bono attorneys, illegal aliens have also sued an Ohio sheriff deputy who helped deport a Mexican with false identification cards, a Maryland officer who arrested an illegal Salvadoran and a southern California city (Costa Mesa) for banning them from seeking work on public streets. The lawsuit actually stems from the arrest by local police of a dozen illegal alien day laborers who violated the city’s anti-solicitation ordinance.

 

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