UPDATE: This post has been updated and now contains the video of the exchange between Mayor Boughton and immigration lawyer Philip Berns.
Did Mayor Boughton go too far personally attacking immigration lawyer Philip Berns? Did Berns get under Boughton's skin when he commented that Danbury does not care about the immigrant population?
The topic of conversation among many who attended the forum on immigration Wednesday night wasn't the immigration issue, but the sharp verbal exchange between Boughton and Berns. The two people were invited to speak about illegal immigration in Danbury but things quickly degraded and became personal with each taking verbal shots at each other. Things seem to reach a boiling point when Mayor Boughton personally attacked Berns' career as an immigration attorney.
You missed the forum? Upset you missed the fireworks? Heard about the exchange and want to see for you if Boughton or Berns went over the line? Well, don't worry; we have the videoclip so you can judge for yourself.
One thing is certain, this issue has angered people on both sides and if last night is any indication, this topic (and the anti-immigration rhetoric expressed by the radical members of the audience) will not go away any time soon.
There was much more that happened at the forum and we'll post more video highlights, comments from those who attended, and a full report on the event later.
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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.