Immigration agents violated the constitutional rights of four illegal immigrants in raids that critics say were retaliation for a city program that provided ID cards to foreigners in the country illegally, a federal judge ruled.
The New Haven raid on June 6, 2007 occurred two days after the city approved issuing identification cards to all city residents, regardless of immigration status, the Associated Press reported. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials deny the early morning raids were retaliatory, saying planning began the year before.
Immigration Judge Michael Straus said the ICE agents went into the immigrants' homes without warrants, probable cause, or consent. He stopped deportation proceedings against the four defendants.
Immigration officials denied the arrests were improper. They said in court documents that they were allowed into the homes during the raids.
ICE spokeswoman Paula Grenier told the AP the agency was reviewing the ruling and would decide later whether to appeal. Monday.
Straus wrote that the rights of at least one immigrant were “flagrantly violated."
"The touchstone of the Fourth Amendment is 'reasonableness' and, by natural extension, one's reasonable expectation of privacy," the judge wrote. "Nowhere is that expectation of privacy more sacrosanct than in the confines of one's home."