ICE Agents Conduct Illegal Raids in New Haven

Two days after the City of New Haven, Connecticut agreed to issue identification cards to all city residents regardless of their citizenship or documentation, federal agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted early morning raids of New Haven homes that resulted in the arrests of 32 undocumented residents. ICE denies accusations made by city officials that it intended the raids to send a retaliatory message about its disapproval of the city's issuance of identity cards to undocumented workers. Whatever motivated the raids, it was clear to an immigration judge who presided over the deportation hearings of four arrestees that ICE agents "flagrantly violated" their Fourth Amendment rights by entering the homes without a warrant, without probable cause, and without consent.

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[The immigrants] said in affidavits that agents barged into both homes after residents had opened their doors only a little. ... Witnesses alleged in court documents that parents were arrested in front of their frightened children, agents refused to identify themselves and told people in the homes to shut up.

The immigration judge terminated the deportation proceedings against the four immigrants. The immigrants benefited from the excellent representation provided by Yale Law School students, who in turn benefited from the kind of "hands-on" learning experience that law schools too rarely provide.

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    I don't think... (none / 0) (#1)
    by kdog on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 01:13:01 PM EST
    I'll ever get used to these "papers please" raids in the land of the supposedly free.

    Nice to see a judge who remembers the 4th though.

    A few additional details... (none / 0) (#2)
    by WeaponX on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 01:36:20 PM EST
    I'd heard about this story but there are some omitted details in this version that might help to make people understand what actually happened.

    All of the illegal immigrants in question had been previously ordered by a judge to leave the US due to criminal activity (aside from entering the US illegaly) but had failed to comply and as such were fugitives. This is no different than the police following up on a warrant for someone's arrest when they locate the fugitive and to the best of my knowledge that is not unconstitutional.

    It seems to me (none / 0) (#3)
    by TChris on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 01:50:43 PM EST
    that a deportation order is very different from an arrest warrant.  An order and a warrant are different animals.  Alleged fugitive status does not justify an unconsented entry into a residence without a warrant.

    I don't know, (none / 0) (#5)
    by bocajeff on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 02:48:35 PM EST
    Does fugitive status justify an unconsented entry into a residence without a warrant?

    No. (none / 0) (#6)
    by TChris on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 03:13:11 PM EST
    Warrants... (none / 0) (#8)
    by WeaponX on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 03:58:21 PM EST
    These deportation warrants from my understanding were granted because of criminal acts that would land a US citizen in jail but in lieu of jail they were given deportation orders. So ICE was enforcing a deportation warrant that was in fact a criminal warrant. They had just been unable to locate them until they registered for the ID.

    None of this changes (none / 0) (#10)
    by eric on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 04:01:07 PM EST
    the fact that the entry into these peoples homes violated the Fourth Amendment.

    WeaponX (none / 0) (#12)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 04:13:10 PM EST
    Have you learned how to link yet on TL?

    Absent a link to the substantiating source, your first sentence will not be accepted as fact.

    No big deal, here's how I link:

    To link, with apologies if it's too basic:
    -highlight the URL of the web-page that you want to link to.

    -copy the URL ("edit" then "copy").

    -come back to TL and write something in your "Comment:" box.

    -highlight the word(s) in that comment that you want to be the link.

    -click the "URL" button above the "Comment:" box, it's the button that has
    an icon that looks like links of a chain. That brings up a link box, and your cursor is automatically in it.

    -hold down the "Ctrl" button on your computer's keyboard and then type "v". That copies the url into the link box.

    -click "OK."

    -click the "Preview" button below the "Comments:" box.

    -if the preview looks good - ie., the word(s) you selected to be the link
    are a different color from the rest of the text - click the "Post" button below the "Comments:" box.


    Touche' (none / 0) (#14)
    by WeaponX on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 04:40:52 PM EST
    Yes I am attempting to track it down now but as it was a perfectly legal raid it wasn't exactly international news and is only being brought up and distorted by activist looking to score points against "the man" without divulging the whole story.

    No touche intended. (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 04:52:43 PM EST
    As I've learned over the years, if you bring new - and especially contrary - info to a discussion here on TL (and I often do), it has to be substantiated or no one will believe it.

    Jus' tryin' to help. Seriously.


    If ICE appeals the ruling, and prevails, (none / 0) (#4)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 01:54:18 PM EST
    will the raids then be legal?

    ICE ICE Baby (none / 0) (#7)
    by WeaponX on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 03:36:12 PM EST
    I believe if you ignore a court order (think of it as bail jumping) than once they locate you a warrant is not needed to enter your home since you are already in violation of prior legal orders. Also it is my understanding that these were criminal issues not just immigration warrants, though I view both as the same.

    We have had several of these raids here as well due to a Tyson plant who was hiring illegal immigrants from Mexico and Somalia and in turn laying off American workers, many of whom had been there for 10 years or more. The raids are in fact completely legal and if anyone has legal reasons why they are not please share. Here is why. Constitutional rights are granted to US citizens and legal aliens just as Social Security and other entitlement benefits are. Illegal aliens are not US citizens and are technically viewed as foreign nationals in violation of territorial sovereignty, as we would be if we snuck into another country. If I sneak into Canada and get injured the Canadian government is not legally bound to provide me universal health coverage as they provide to their citizens since I am a non citizen who has violated Canadian law by entering illegally. As a common sense example if you catch a burglar in your home you are under no obigation to provide him with dinner.

    With that said I do not believe these raids to be an effective way of dealing with illegal immigration since we are dealing with 20 million or more people. I would go further and say I do not fault the illegal immigrants at all I fault the corporations who have exploited them as cheap labor and as such crippled the living wage of the American worker. I also fault the efforts made, with the best of intentions, by the idealogical left (please understand no offense is meant) but all you are doing is creating a new generation of poor and assuring that American workers are never paid a livable wage for their efforts by creating unfair competition against cheap labor.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by eric on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 03:59:44 PM EST
    you can believe that ignoring a court order is grounds for a warrantless search of one's home, but that is not the law.

    Also, you may believe that the Fourth Amendment only protects citizens, but that this not the law.  It is true that certain Constitutional rights are only afforded to citizens, but the Fourth Amendment's protections against unreasonable searches protects everyone in the country.


    What do you think... (none / 0) (#11)
    by WeaponX on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 04:13:04 PM EST
    So much of this is unfortunately open to a lot of interpretation and legal wrangling and I am no lawyer but:

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    The Deportation / Criminal warrant is what is required to enact search and seizure according to the 4th ammendment. At least that is how I'm seeing it. The warrant was issued for deportation and the deportation was issued as sentence for a criminal act. If someone broke out a jail (sentence for their criminal act) and hid in a house the police would not have to obtain a warrant to go in and get this person because they were in violation of their court ordered sentence. It is the best comparison I can think of.


    I think (none / 0) (#13)
    by eric on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 04:32:01 PM EST
    you are on the right track, but the problem is that in order to search a home, you need a warrant to do that (with certain exceptions - imminent harm, fleeing, etc.)  The deportation orders, if that's what they were, do not allow the state to bypass the warrant requirements.

    More Detail... (none / 0) (#16)
    by WeaponX on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 04:54:38 PM EST
    I'm trying to find something on this particular raid but as I understand it ICE were there looking for 4 people of interest (these were ones who had criminal warrants)they did not find these people but did discover in the raid that the people in the home were illegal immigrants. Now I do not for one second dispute that ICE probably used this as an excuse to get in the home knowing they could then take these illegal immigrants into custody, this is like when a cop pulls you over for a seat belt issue then tries to get you with another charge.

    My dispute here is US Constitutional protections do not extend to people who have entered to US illegally. A person in the US illegally can not legally have a home or property in the US since any action or contract they enter into is void due to being arranged under criminal pretense (their illegal entry) therefore making the 4th ammendment inapplicable. This is the slippery slope you stand on trying to make everyone on the planet an American, our territorial soveriegnty has to be protected.

    Two points. (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by TChris on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 07:42:11 PM EST
    First, your position that that constitutional protections are unavailable to persons who have entered the country illegally is incorrect.  To cite an obvious example, the Thirteenth Amendment prohibits slavery or involuntary servitude within the United States.  You don't believe that undocumented residents can be enslaved, do you?

    In Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982), the Supreme Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee that "any person" facing a deprivation of life, liberty or property is entitled to due process, and that "any person within [a state's] jurisdiction" is entitled to equal protection of the laws, apply to noncitizens who are in the country without lawful authority, because they are nonetheless "persons" who are subject to a state's jurisdiction.  Fifth Amendment rights also apply to "any person" while Sixth Amendment rights are guaranteed to "the accused" in a criminal trial, with no textual distinction between citizens and noncitizens or the legality of the person's or accused's entitlement to be in the country.

    The Fourth Amendment grants privacy rights to "the people," language that is arguably less encompassing than "any person" because it could be taken to mean "the people of the United States," i.e., citizens and resident aliens.  While the Supreme Court has not decisively settled the question, its analysis in I.N.S. v. Lopez-Mendoza, 468 U.S. 1032 (1984)  assumed that the Fourth Amendment's protections would apply in criminal proceedings to all individuals within the nation's borders.  In U.S. v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 U.S. 259 (1990), the Supreme Court refined that analysis, suggesting without deciding that "the people" includes people who have entered the country voluntarily and who have developed a substantial societal connection.  An immigrant who enters the country voluntarily but illegally and who then obtains housing and a job or raises a family has sufficient connection to society to be part of "the people."  That interpretation, while not conclusively settled by the Supreme Court, has been largely adopted by the lower courts.

    Second, a deportation order or warrant issued by an immigration judge is not a "criminal warrant."  The Lopez-Mendoza decision made clear that a deportation hearing is a civil proceeding.  The immigration judge only determines whether a person with the country's borders is eligible to remain.  The judge does not adjudicate guilt or impose a criminal punishment.  "The purpose of deportation is not to punish past transgressions but rather to put an end to a continuing violation of the immigration laws."  Unless you are aware of arrest warrants that were issued by a state or federal court authorizing the seizure of undocumented workers in connection with criminal prosecutions (and it would be unusual for ICE agents to serve those warrants), it doesn't seem likely that the ICE agents were armed with criminal arrest warrants when they entered these residents.  


    Excellent Argument... (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by WeaponX on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 11:16:22 AM EST
    First, kudos on the well thought out response.

    I'm in the odd position, albeit fortunate, of having a close friend (and workout partner) who has been a sitting judge in my home state for the last 25 years and while he did not cite specific cases as you have he did say the enforcement of the 4th ammendment as it applies to illegal immigrants is as of yet an undecided issue. Actually he went further to list this as possibly the largest issue facing the courts today above and beyond abortion or other issues. His legal opinion sides with mine (honestly it is my friendship with him that has shaped many of my legal opinions) and he believes granting of full Constitutional rights to illegal immigrants would all but eliminate anything resembling territorial sovereignty for the US and would give the government no legal recourse not only to protect our borders but to punish businesses exploiting cheap illegal labor. He further stated that granting them full protections would negate any benefits of being a citizen as opposed to an illegal alien and would open the Federal Government to lawsuits forcing them to allow full Federal entitlement such as Medicare, Social Security, etc, this in short order would bankrupt the US within a decade if not sooner. It would literally be anarchy at the borders (it nearly is now). He believes this will be a hard sell to the courts since from a security standpoint it would also grant full Constitutional protections to foreign terrorist committing acts within the US who under current rules can be treated as enemy combatants (not POW's since they represent no formal army), our Constitutional protections would heavily hinder our ability to gather further intelligence. We of course see this being battled now.

    An interesting debate no doubt.


    I'm sorry (none / 0) (#18)
    by eric on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 07:50:56 PM EST
    but you are wrong about most of this.  Constitutional protections, many of them - not all, DO extend to non-citizens.  The Fourth Amendment does protect everyone from unreasonable searches.  Further, non-citizens routinely own property and enter into enforceable contracts in this country.  One does not need to be a citizen to be afforded the protections of the laws of this country.

    The days of the US telling people that they have no rights, can't own property, and must do what we say ended in about 1865.

    Now, to the seat belt analogy.  It is topical because my state's primary enforcement law went into effect today. (BAH)  Anyway, when a police officer pulls you over for not wearing your seatbelt, it is because he has (or claims to have) a belief that you are not wearing your seat belt.  Ordinarily, the law would require something known as a "reasonable articulable suspicion" of the violation.  Now, once you are pulled over, the cop  can ask for your license, look around, etc.  If he thinks another law is being broken, he can follow up on that.

    Entering a home if FAR different.  In short, a warrant is required because it is a really protected place.  If a cop thinks that a fugitive is hold up in a house, he is free to get a warrant.  The police cannot simply raid the world as they see fit.  At least not yet.


    Misunderstanding... (none / 0) (#23)
    by WeaponX on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 11:22:14 AM EST
    I am not saying only citizens have Constitutional Rights, all people in the US legally are afforded these protections. It is people who are here illegaly that are in question. My in laws are not US citizens but are in the US legally (political asylum) and are afforded full lawful protection under the US Constitution. The debate here is do those protections carry to an illegal immigrant and as was pointed out in earlier post this is as of yet an undecided issue.

    I take the common sense approach. If I invite you into my house (leagl entry) you will be treated with all the respect and kindness I would treat my own family with. However if you break into my house (illegal entry) the best outcome you can hope for is being arrested for breaking the law, the worst would be my getting hold of you before the police arrived :)


    Was that Judge Straus? (none / 0) (#19)
    by Shainzona on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 08:40:30 PM EST
    (I'm a retired Hartford Immigration attorney and expect that he was, indeed, that voice of reason.  He once called me to represent two asylum stow-aways from Cameroon - he always wanted it done "right".  Judge Straus and his associates were wonderful...[Hi, Phil!].)

    So if there were a warrant it'd be OK? (none / 0) (#20)
    by diogenes on Tue Jun 09, 2009 at 09:51:36 PM EST
    I guess this means that if the cops got warrants then TChris would be fine with the arrests.  So let the cops start getting warrants.
    If these guys were really previously ordered to leave the country but didn't then isn't the wailing about their crying children being present just using the kids as human shields?

    Yes, (none / 0) (#21)
    by TChris on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 03:20:44 AM EST
    it's "ok" for government agents to obey the law.  It's not ok when they violate the Constitution.  I have no problem with law enforcement agents doing their job in a lawful and responsible way; in fact, I encourage it. Indeed, "let the cops get warrants" rather than bullying their way into homes without obtaining consent to enter.  It's what the law requires, and you want everyone, including law enforcers, to obey the law, don't you diogenes?

    How... (none / 0) (#24)
    by WeaponX on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 11:27:03 AM EST
    How to do you propose them getting 20 million warrants in our convuluted legal system?

    The prior poster was right they are using their children as human shields. In the midst of all of this hand wringing we must not forget the primary fact, each and every one of these people have broken the law period. Not one of you here can argue that the US is a country with defined borders and violation or illegal entry of this border is a violation of US law. We aren't the bad guys here, ICE isn't the bad guys, the only people disregarding the law are the illegal immigrants. This is a black and white issue and we're trying to turn it grey.


    Excuse me, (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by TChris on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 01:31:24 PM EST
    but the United States Constitution is not only "the law," it is "the supreme law of the land." U.S. Const., art. VI.  The judge in this case found that ICE agents violated the Constitution -- the law -- by illegally entering a dwelling. It isn't true that "the only people disregarding the law are the illegal immigrants."  As for deciding who the "bad guys" are, I have greater respect and sympathy for people who work hard, support their families, and stay out of trouble (regardless of how they entered the country) than I have for law enforcement officers who feel privileged to violate the law when they feel like taking shortcuts.  The world is not as black and white and you would like it to be.

    Let Janet Napolitano do it (none / 0) (#26)
    by diogenes on Wed Jun 10, 2009 at 05:11:34 PM EST
    Let Janet Napolitano get the warrants; that's fine with me, although I suspect that other posters will complain that we would be mistreating these poor souls because we deported them, warrant or not.