Two men were taken into custody by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on Monday, sending shock waves through an already anxious immigrant community.
In one case, Danbury Police were called to a Franklin Street apartment building around 11:30 a.m. Monday and assisted ICE in transporting a man to Danbury Police headquarters. The detained man was then transferred to an immigration vehicle and taken to an unknown location, police said.
Later in the day, ICE agents handcuffed a second man as he lay on the ground in front of the Old Oak Restaurant on Liberty Street. Danbury Police said they had no involvement in that detainment, which a passerby captured on video
OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM Immigration and Customs Enforcement:
“On March 27, ICE Deportation Officers in Hartford, Connecticut, arrested Julio Virgilio Paida-Morquencho, 22, a citizen of Ecuador. Paida-Morquencho was considered an ICE fugitive at the time of his arrest for failing to voluntarily leave the United States as ordered by a federal immigration judge in 2013. He will remain in ICE custody pending removal from the United States.”
-Shawn Neudauer, ICE spokesman, New England
An ICE official also shared that the agency routinely reaches out to local prosecutors when aliens in ICE custody also have pending local criminal charges. Ultimately, it is up to local prosecutors to determine next steps in the criminal case.
Press release from the Danbury Area Justice Network:
Danbury Residents React to ICE Raid in Danbury, call for Danbury to be a Welcoming Community
While there is fear in our community, we will continue organizing
Danbury, CT, March 28th- Yesterday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) descended on Danbury and apprehended, in broad daylight, in the middle of a busy street, a local Danbury resident.
The arrest was caught on video and circulated widely on social media. In response, Danbury Police Department stated that the Danbury PD had no involvement in this incident. Shortly after, photographs surfaced which clearly depict Danbury Police Officers and squad cars accompanying ICE agents on operations.
Angelica Idrovo, CT Students for a Dream, Community Organizer, “Around the country, we have seen stepped up enforcement and raids. We have seen mass deportation threats turn into reality. This issue is now on our doorstep and we must, as a city, address it. When operations such as the one yesterday happen, it heightens the fear and anxiety in our community. Parents are afraid to send their kids to school. Kids are afraid to come home and find their parents gone. That is why we are calling from clear answers from the City of Danbury regarding the extent of Danbury's corporation with ICE. Our city officials have a responsibility to stop misinformation and ensure that all our residents are able to live a life with dignity and a life without fear. While ICE continues to terrorize our communities and while there is fear and anxiety in our community, we will continue organizing to protect and educate our families and our neighbors. We want politicians and all people to know that we are #HereToStay and organized to fight back.”
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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.