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Feds settle civil rights, ICE raid suit with New Haven residents targeted in immigration raids

The United States Government has agreed to fork over damages and halt deportation and removal proceedings against a group of New Haven residents snared in a 2007 residential immigration raid. The government says the settlement in the immigration-related federal court litigation is not an admission of liability for the warrantless immigration raids that occurred in a predominantly Latino neighborhood on the Eastern Seaboard.

A federal lawsuit was filed on behalf of eleven men who were among roughly 30 people caught up in the immigration raids that occurred during the early morning hours of June 6, 2007. The men claimed immigration officials violated their rights to privacy, when federal agents stormed their homes with weapons drawn, forcing families out of bed, and frightening young children in their homes.

An immigration judge previously had ruled that immigration agents violated the constitutional rights of four people who were caught up in the immigration raids. Agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement descended on the men's homes without a warrant, without probable cause, and without the men's consent, according to the earlier 2009 federal immigration court ruling.  The judge halted deportation and removal proceedings against the four men subject to the court's ruling.

Five people remained in immigration court removal proceedings, who were also plaintiffs in the recent federal lawsuit against the government. Immigration officials agreed to halt those deportation proceedings as a part of the agreement settling the civil rights lawsuit against the federal government.

The raids followed on the heels of a decision by the New Haven city council to approve identification cards for city residents, regardless of immigration status. The day after the city had approved the ID cards, federal authorities conducted the early morning raids. The federal government denies that the warrantless raids were conducted in retaliation for the city council action. ICE officials claim the raids had begun planning the raids a year before the council acted.


Fox News Latino, "US to Pay $350K, Halt Deportations in New Haven Immigration Raid Settlement," Based upon Associated Press reports, Feb. 15, 2012


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