Immigration agents systematically entered homes and made arrests without proper warrants during raids to round up immigration fugitives in New Jersey, according to a federal lawsuit filed Thursday.
These tactics are not confined to a rogue unit in New Jersey, they are operating procedure throughout the country. Nonetheless, the New Jersey lawsuit may set a precedent for challenging ICE's unlawful actions.
The lawsuit, brought by lawyers at the Center for Social Justice at Seton Hall Law School in Newark, will provide a constitutional test of law enforcement methods often used by immigration agents since May 2006 when they began operations across the country to track down and deport immigrants who had been ordered to leave by the courts.
The suit, against officials of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, on behalf of 10 plaintiffs, including two United States citizens, contends that teams of ICE agents used “deceit or, in some cases, raw force” to gain “unlawful entry.”
The lawsuit claims that agents, sometimes misrepresenting themselves as local police officers hunting for criminals, entered homes where no fugitives being sought were present and detained residents without showing any legal cause. Immigration agents have broad authority to question foreigners about their immigration status, but they may not enter a home without either a warrant or consent.The ICE raids are part of a wholesale policy of denying civil liberties and civil rights protections to undocumented workers. In essence, the raids are part and parcel of the war of attrition that nativists are pushing against Latinos and other vulnerable communities.
If you liked this post, don't forget to subscribe to my RSS feeds. Or you can
get my posts delivered to your inbox directly, by subscribing to my feeds by email.