Considering the presence of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Los Angeles, city residents will want to hear about a record-breaking settlement between ICE and 11 people that were unjustly arrested in Connecticut back in 2007.
That year, ICE officials conducted an immigration raid with local authorities in the city of New Haven. The raid detained roughly 30 people, but the arresting officials did not obtain any warrants before conducting the raid that led to the arrest of the 11 men involved in the settlement.
The 11 immigrants arrested filed a civil suit against the federal government, and this week the two sides reached a financial and legal agreement in the case. Not only will the defendants receive $350,000 for the ordeal, but they will be given the option to either have any deportation action against them immediately eliminated or to defer immigration action against them for four years.
The first choice is straightforward, in that the legal action taken against the defendant will end. The second choice, however, gives the defendant the ability to apply for permanent status.
The combination of provisions in this settlement makes it the first of its kind, as well as the settlement amount being the largest award ever given by the U.S. in an immigration raid lawsuit.
The tactics and measures of ICE have generated much controversy, especially considering the programs and laws that have been passed since the department’s creation. Here we see an example of a poorly and unlawfully executed investigation by ICE. However, there are other examples that hit closer to home, such as the Los Angeles residents who were legal U.S. citizens yet still nearly received a deportation conviction by ICE in December.
Source: NBC Connecticut, “Unprecedented Settlement Reached Over ICE Raids,” Bob Connors, Feb. 14, 2012