ICE Immigration Raids Are Reckless and Unconstitutional

May 20, 2008 12:00 am

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Contact: (202) 675-2312, WASHINGTON, DC – The American Civil Liberties Union commends Chairwoman Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) and the Workforce Protection Subcommittee of the House Education and Labor Committee for holding today’s hearing on immigration raids and their impact on families and communities. Since late 2006 the Department of Homeland Security Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) section has undertaken an unprecedented campaign of immigration raids in homes, and worksites. The ACLU has challenged the legality and constitutionality of many of these raids including worksite raids conducted in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and Van Nuys, California.

“ICE's immigration raids have been so sweeping that they have ensnared U.S. citizens, including innocent children, in their dragnet,” said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. “There are no regulations controlling ICE's reckless raids, and ICE routinely violates due process while conducting raids.”

During a raid last year in the San Francisco Bay Area, Kebin Reyes, a then 6-year-old U.S. citizen, was detained for 10 hours in an ICE field office after his home was raided by ICE. The ACLU, with the San Francisco Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, sued ICE on behalf of Reyes, arguing that his detention violated his constitutionally protected civil rights. Katherine Gibney, the principal of Reyes’s school, is scheduled to testify in today’s subcommittee hearing.

“Today’s hearing is a long-awaited effort to shine a light on the devastating human toll of immigration raids, particularly on innocent U.S. citizen children,” added Joanne Lin, ACLU Legislative Counsel. “Left in the wake of ICE's reckless raids are young children who are terrified of ICE agents barging into their homes. They fear attending school or church because they may never see their parents again, and they live with the threat of being permanently separated from their families.”

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