22 July 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Report: ICE Broke the Law and Agency Rules!

The New York Times reports:

Armed federal immigration agents have illegally pushed and shoved their way into homes in New York and New Jersey in hundreds of predawn raids that violated their own agency rules as well as the Constitution, according to a study to be released on Wednesday by the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

The study by the school’s Immigration Justice Law Clinic, backed by several law enforcement experts including Nassau County’s police commissioner, found a widespread pattern of misconduct by agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement after analyzing 700 arrest reports obtained from the agency through Freedom of Information lawsuits.

The raids were supposed to focus on dangerous criminals, but overwhelmingly netted Latinos with civil immigration violations who happened to be present, the study said. Raiders mistakenly held legal residents and citizens by force in their own homes while agents rummaged through drawers seeking incriminating documents, the report said.

Acting without judicial search warrants, the agents were required to obtain informed consent from a resident before they entered a private residence. But the study found that in 86 percent of the Nassau and Suffolk County arrest reports that it analyzed, and a quarter of the New Jersey cases, no consent was recorded.

The full report is here. The pattern of misconduct cited involves:

• ICE agents illegally entering homes without legal authority – for example, physically pushing or breaking their way into private residences.
• ICE agents illegally seizing non-target individuals during home raid operations – for example, seizing innocent people in their bedrooms without any basis.
• ICE agents illegally searching homes without legal authority – for example, breaking down locked doors inside homes.
• ICE agents illegally seizing individuals based solely on racial or ethnic appearance or on limited English proficiency.

And we thought this was all about ‘upholding the law of the land.’

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