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ICE raid ruling upheld

Friday, December 17, 2010
Time: 8:54 PM

More good news in the Yale law case
against the ICE raid action in New Haven that can have an impact in Danbury.
In their quest to hold immigration agents accountable for alleged constitutional violations during June 2007 raids in Fair Haven, 11 New Haven immigrants can take their case all the way to the top.

Federal Judge Stefan Underhill ruled Thursday that 11 plaintiffs in a civil rights suit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can hold the agency’s national director liable for the behavior of agents that entered apartments in Fair Haven. The judge denied a motion by the U.S. government that argued that ICE supervisors and higher-ups could not be held responsible for ground-level action.

Judge Underhill’s decision was part of a larger ruling (read it here) in response to several motions by the government, which sought to have the immigrants’ case derailed on a variety of grounds. While some of the government’s arguments were successful, the majority failed, according to Muneer Ahmad (pictured below), a Yale law professor representing the plaintiff immigrants.

The case stems from controversial ICE raids in the summer of 2007. The plaintiffs in the case, represented by lawyers and students from Yale Law School, claim that ICE agents entered their homes without permission and arrested them illegally, violating their 4th, 5th, and 10th Amendment rights. The 11 immigrant plaintiffs are suing the government as well as individual ICE agents.

They also claim that the raids were a sort of punishment for New Haven issuance of the Elm City Resident ID Card, which is available to all New Haveners regardless of their immigration status.

ICE has declined to comment on the case in the past. A spokesperson was not available by press time.

Muneer Ahmad, a Yale law professor on the case, declared the judge’s ruling a victory. He said Judge Underhill upheld the majority of the case, while the government’s “aggressive” effort to dismiss the case was successful “only at the margins.”

“It’s a pretty sweeping decision on the part of the plaintiffs,” Ahmad said.


“That’s a really major decision by the court,” Ahmad said. It’s a very significant ruling on behalf of the rights of immigrants to make civil rights claims, he said.

“I think that other courts will pay attention to it, and I think that ICE will pay attention to it,” Ahmad said. “ICE has long maintained that it should have a kind of immunity from suit that other law enforcement officials don’t have.”

“Our hope is that this is the start of an accountability process for ICE and for the group of residents in Fair Haven,” Ahmad said.

Make sure the read the entire article over at the New Haven Independent.

posted by ctblogger at 8:54 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.



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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