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Why Danbury is headed for disaster

Thursday, November 29, 2007
Time: 1:03 AM

Wake up people before it's too late...the Mayor is LYING to you when it comes to the ICE ACCESS program.
Armed squads bursting into homes in the dead of night with shotguns and automatic weapons, terrorizing families and taking away anyone who lacks identity papers, even if they have raided the wrong house. It may sound like Baghdad, but it is the suburbs of New York City, the latest among hundreds of communities around the country where federal agents have been invading homes and workplaces in search of immigrants to deport.

Federal officials say the raids are a focused campaign to catch gang members and other fugitives. That would be good if Immigration and Customs Enforcement were carefully extracting the dangerous criminal sliver from a population of 12 million illegal immigrants. But as immigration raids have vastly increased, they have become something murky and ugly.

ICE is catching modest numbers of undesirables, but also a much larger by-catch of peaceable immigrants. Its agents have set off waves of fear and outrage, not only among illegal immigrants, but among citizens whose privacy and security they have violated, through unchecked aggression, carelessness and incompetence.

Last week, dozens of federal agents fanned out across Nassau County, Long Island, to execute warrants on accused gang members. County Executive Thomas Suozzi and Police Commissioner Lawrence Mulvey were so dismayed that they have refused to cooperate on further raids until ICE gets its act together.

They described a seriously botched “cowboy” operation by dozens of ICE agents — some in cowboy hats — who had not trained together, used inappropriate weapons and mistakenly drew them on Nassau officers. They said that ICE misled them — that what was supposed to be a targeted gang crackdown was actually something much more sloppy and indiscriminate. They said the agency ignored repeated invitations to check its list of targets against Nassau’s up-to-date gang records and ended up raiding many wrong homes.

The raids were stunningly ineffective. Nassau says they caught only 6 of 96 fugitives. ICE, using a looser definition of “gang member,” said it got 13 in Nassau and 15 in neighboring Suffolk. There, Peggy De La Rosa-Delgado, an American citizen, said her Huntington Station home was raided by mistake last Thursday at 5:30 a.m. It was the second predawn raid looking for the same man at the same wrong address. Her husband and three teenage sons, legal residents, were terrified, she said.

ICE officials callously shrug off such mistakes as collateral damage, but advocates for immigrants have filed a class-action lawsuit asserting that recent raids in the New York City area were unreasonable searches conducted by agents who did not show warrants and misidentified themselves as police officers. Mr. Suozzi has written to the Homeland Security secretary, Michael Chertoff, asking him to investigate the Nassau debacle.

Remember the Danbury 11 case?

to be continued...

posted by ctblogger at 1:03 AM | Permalink|

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On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed suit in response to an arrest of aday laborers at a public park in Danbury, Connecticut. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on November 26, 2007.

The amended complaint states that plaintiffs sought to remedy the continued discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against the Latino residents of the City of Danbury by Danbury's mayor and its police department.

Plaintiffs allege that the arrests violated their Fourth Amendment rights and the Connecticut Constitution because defendants conducted the arrests without valid warrants, in the absence of exigent circumstances, and without probable cause to believe that plaintiffs were engaged in unlawful activity. In addition, plaintiffs allege that defendants improperly stopped, detained, investigated, searched and arrested plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights when they intentionally targeted plaintiffs, and arrested and detained them on the basis of their race, ethnicity and perceived national origin. Plaintiffs raise First Amendment, Due Process and tort claims.

Plaintiffs request declaratory relief, damages and attorneys fees.

CLICK HERE TO READ/DOWNLOAD MAYOR BOUGHTON'S DEPOSITION

CLICK HERE TO READ/DOWNLOAD MIKE McLACHLAN (then MAYOR CHIEF OF STAFF) DEPOSITION

Danbury Area Coalition for the Rights of Immigrants v.
U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security
3:06-cv-01992-RNC ( D. Conn. )

(02.25.08) Court docket

(10.24.07) Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Emergency Motion for Protective Order

(09.26.07) Press Release

(12.14.06) Complaint


Barrera v. Boughton, No. 07-01436
(D. Conn. filed Sept. 26, 2007)

(02.25.08) Court Docket

Amended complaint

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss State Law Claims

Plaintiffs' Opposition to Motion to Dismiss

Order on Motion to Dismiss

Defendants' Answer to Amended Complaint

NEW HAVEN REGISTER: Immigrant's 2006 arrest was flawed Danbury mayor testifies

(10.05.07 (VIDEO) Boughton mislead the public about Danbury's involvement in raid

(09.18.07) Yale Law Students expose Danbury involvement in raid

(12.14.06) VIDEO: Interview with Yale Law Students at FOI presser

(12.14.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 FOI complaint media roundup

City Clerk Jean Natale standing next to skinhead sparks outrage

(10.03.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 rally

(09.29.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 case deepens

Word of raid spread across the country

(09/29/06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 protest news conference

(09/29/06) Immigrant newspaper "El Canillita" gives best account of ICE day labor raid at Kennedy Park




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