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Bigotry loses again

Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Time: 8:28 PM

New Haven wins
Municipal ID case!
It’s official: New Haven won’t have to release the names of recipients of its immigrant-friendly ID cards, thanks to a ruling late Wednesday afternoon by the state Freedom of Information Commission.

The FOIC voted 3-1 at its Hartford headquarters to uphold a June 25 proposed decision by one of its members. That decision denied a request by opponents of the city’s immigration policies to release the 5,000-plus names. Opponents said they wanted to turn the names over to federal immigration authorities to try to sink the city’s immigrant-friendly policies.

Deborah Torres, attorney for Unidad Latina en Accion, one of the groups supporting the city’s position, credited the testimony of New Haveners on the front lines of immigration issues with helping to win the case.

“People who testified in person and were subject to cross-examination, people who deal on a continuous basis with people in immigrant communities, including documented and undocumented immigrants, talked about their perceptions of those populations — their fears, their concerns, how they perceived some of the statements of the complainants and other immigrant group,” Torres said. “They testified eloquently and at great length.”

[...]

In the end, commissioners expressed sympathy with the argument made by the city and its expert witnesses that threats of violence against city officials and immigrants in general warranted keeping the identities of cardholders secret. The cards — which entitle holders to access to city services like libraries and parks, and can be used to help open bank accounts — are not held just by immigrants, but they are designed to help immigrants integrate into city life.

The city’s police chief, the Fair Haven neighborhood’s top cop, and the state’s homeland security chief all testified in previous hearings that they believed that releasing the names would endanger public safety. A top city official received a death threat because of her role in crafting the ID program. (Click here, here and here to read about that. Click here to read the original FOIC decision that was upheld Wednesday.)


No brainer...

posted by ctblogger at 8:28 PM | 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

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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

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