EG posted the link to this article, I read it, and thought it would be a great topic of discussion. Here are some excerpts, but I really urge everyone to read the entire article.

Whether their brief detention was a mere inconvenience or a flagrant violation of their constitutional rights is the subject of a growing debate that seems likely to be resolved in federal court. Immigration officials, charged with enforcing the law against the estimated 12 million undocumented foreigners in the USA, are mounting more raids at slaughterhouses, restaurants and factories.

Increasingly, U.S. citizens and legal residents who work alongside illegal immigrants are being detained and interrogated, too. And some, such as Dhopade, are filing claims or lawsuits against the government.

Dhopade says he was a victim of racial profiling by ICE. An ICE agent questioned him about his immigration status and his ability to speak English “because of my skin color,” he says. “None of the white folks in the office … that I know of were asked for proof of citizenship. To be asked for proof of citizenship, in this country, it’s an insult. This is the United States of America. This country does not require that.”

“You cannot in this country engage in group detentions of large numbers of people because you think a smaller number within the larger group has done something wrong,” Schey says. At the Van Nuys plant, ICE “created a powerful atmosphere of fear and intimidation. People felt like they had been taken hostage.”

Barbara Coe, chairwoman of the California Coalition for Immigration Reform, says raids “are providing the incentive for at least some of these illegal aliens to get out of here before they are deported. I don’t think there are enough raids. There should be more.” She says she’s sorry legal residents are sometimes questioned during raids but believes ICE needs time to determine who is here legally.

So does Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington. “It’s not the end of the world,” he says of citizens who are detained. “These people were briefly inconvenienced. Too bad.”

Denise Shippy, nine months pregnant the day of the MSE raid, says it was more than an inconvenience.

She had planned to take off that afternoon for parent-teacher conferences and a doctor’s appointment. But Shippy, 30, needed to train a receptionist to fill in for her while she was on maternity leave, so she took her two children to the office with her. The raid occurred as she settled Cassidy, 7, and Ricky, 9, into the mailroom for lunch.

As she left the mailroom, Shippy found the lobby filled with ICE agents, and she, the children and co-workers were herded in there. When Shippy tried to respond to an e-mail, she says, one ICE agent said, “Stop typing.”

“My rights were violated,” Shippy says. “I am a citizen of this United States. I was born here. I’m not who they’re looking for. I wasn’t allowed to leave. … I couldn’t go anywhere and couldn’t do anything. Neither could my children.”

Although she was upset, she tried to calm her kids, she says. She needed to use the restroom, but held off because she didn’t want an agent to accompany her.

“I didn’t want to scare the heck out of my kids,” she says. “I was trying to be cool and calm for my children. My heart was racing.”

As long as ICE has a warrant to enter a workplace, Myers says, agents can conduct what she calls a “survey” to determine the legal status of “anyone within the premises.”

She cites a 1984 Supreme Court ruling that said factory surveys during immigration raids don’t amount to an unconstitutional detention or seizure of those being questioned, even U.S. citizens.

In its ruling, however, the Supreme Court emphasized that the employees in the factory were not prevented from moving around, continuing to work or leaving. The current raids are different from those the Supreme Court approved, Schey says.

ICE can question workers as long as the interaction is voluntary, “but what they’re doing (now) is not that,” he says, because workers think they have no choice except to answer questions — which may incriminate those here illegally.

ICE’s raids foster discrimination, says Domingo Garcia, attorney for the League of United Latin American Citizens. “There’s a lot of racial profiling. … If you look like a Hispanic, you’re detained or arrested.”

He says he plans to file a class-action, civil rights lawsuit on behalf of legal workers detained in raids, including Jesus Garcia, 27, a green-card holder from Mount Pleasant, Texas. Domingo Garcia says he will ask the court to prohibit ICE from conducting raids until it changes its policies to prevent racial profiling.

ICE agents went to Jesus Garcia’s home on April 16 in conjunction with a raid on a nearby Pilgrim’s Pride poultry processing plant, where he worked marinating chicken meat. Garcia, from Mexico, has been a legal permanent resident for a year and a half. When about 10 ICE agents and local sheriff’s deputies knocked on his door, they told him he was using the wrong Social Security number, says his wife, Olivia Garcia, a U.S. citizen.

Though Garcia showed the agents his green card, they handcuffed him and jailed him. He was released a day and a half later after agents told him he wasn’t the person they wanted, he says. He had spent the night in jail. “He said it was pretty bad,” Olivia says. “People were crying and screaming.”

Jesus Garcia, who has since left Pilgrim’s Pride for another job, says the mishap cost him three days of work. “I worked hard to get my residency,” he says. “And to take me to jail just over a mistake?”

111 Thoughts to ““Citizens sue after detentions, immigration raids””

  1. Firedancer

    Michael, 26. June 2008, 23:00 said:
    “…battle of sanity (on bvbl) has been won there for the most part. The insanity and media battle is really here, convincing and teaching liberals not to be so self-destructive to our nation.”

    Yeah, right. Ha Ha. I’m a liberal, and damn proud of it. Never could understand why people throw that around as if it were some kind of insult.

    Good conversation here.

  2. Jedi Master Yoda


    Thanks for quoting me. “Do or do not do. There is no try” is one of my personal favorites. I often hold my Yoda stick when I say things like that.

  3. Mackie said:

    “It would have been better to go down hard once in November than to set the stage for defeat for the next 50 years.”

    I agree. The subtext of this quote is precisely why I’ve thrown up my hands with the Republican party. They saw the momentum that the Anti-Immigrant Lobby had built as a life boat … a short term campaign issue that they hoped would help them hold on to power in 2008, knowing that it would cost them the Latino vote forever. Stupid!

    The Iraq War was for greed, first and foremost, but there was also a political benefit. It won them two elections (2002 and 2004) and no one can take that away from them. The Anti-Immigrant culture war has won zero elections, will win zero elections, and will cost them millions of votes for the next 30 years. Meanwhile, all the stand-up old-school Republicans with class and dignity are quitting! We lost Tom Davis over this. On Capitol Hill the bleeding is nearly fatal. If McCain weren’t the nominee, I’m sure he’d quit too. I see McCain as a leader like Chief Deane, willing to stay and see things through, even though some people around you are going off the deep end both morally and politically. McCain’s greatest contribution to this country will be staying true to his principles (that means NOT getting desperate and pandering to the Anti-Immigrant Lobby) and taking one on the chin in November. Only then will the Anti-Immigrant Lobby crawl back into its whole, paving the way for a new Republican party to be built by young people who can hopefully lure some of the great leaders back.

  4. Michael

    Moon howler, I don’t see any specifc person as a “liberal” here, because we ALL have element of liberalism in out thinking, including me. I am selectively identify a “concept” or liberaism and some of these conceptual beliefs that are regarded as “liberal” as also very destructive to our society. Other concepts of liberalism are very useful and beneficial to our society. When I see the destructive ones, I challenge them as “unwise”, just when I see destructive “conservative” thinking on I support the beneficial liberal concepts when I see them and agree they are just and fair, especially when appied to a standard of law.

    I prefer to argue with facts and logical debate, while respecting as much as possible every ones opinion and concept, escept when they personally attack me. Even then I attempt to remain neutral and just stick to the logical and factual argument, with a hope and a goal to “convert” to a wiser course of action than I think someone is on. I use the “law” a lot as a standard in this argument, as do you. I will not argue law when you use it as justification for your position, as it is usueally right, having been though out by many people wat smarter than us.

  5. Michael

    Yes firedancer I am a conservative liberal and a liberal conservative and damn proud of it too!

  6. Firedancer

    WHWN, I appreciate your analysis of the current state of the Republican party. I just finished watching McCain speak live on CNN at the National Association of Latino Elected Officials conference in Washington. In spite of the hecklers, I thought he gave a principled speech. He focused a lot on the need for breaking our dependence on oil, which I thoroughly agree with. While I won’t vote for him, being the die-hard Dem that I am, nevertheless I feel I could live with his presidency, and in fact am grateful that he is the nominee instead of the others….except for his support of the war. Obama is coming up next, and I’m sure the comparison will be stark with his youthful vitality. But it is such a relief that the anti-immigrant lobby has been seen for the ugliness that it represents.

    Thanks for all your interesting political analyses.

  7. Jedi, I love the wise Yoda! So much like Buddha…..

  8. es_la_ley

    Firedancer, 27. June 2008, 21:56

    I’m a liberal, and damn proud of it. Never could understand why people throw that around as if it were some kind of insult.

    Being a liberal, you can’t understand. It comes with the mindset. 🙂

  9. Emma, 27. June 2008, 12:01
    “I still say we need to go after the fat-boy CEO’s who are hiring illegally in the first place.”

    Sorry to come into the conversation so late, but I’ve been a little busy this weekend.

    I absolutely agree with you, Emma. As a matter of fact, it’s really a shame that we no longer have the INS as part of the Treasury Department. It would be SO practical to send accountants/IRS agents into companies suspected of hiring illegal aliens to “research” the payroll records (confirm legitimacy of social security numbers, payroll taxes, workman’s compensation, insurance, etc.) under the guise of an “audit” prior to any raid to identify the illegal aliens in advance. This way they would be far less likely to make mistakes and they would also have the proof necessary to give the EMPLOYER their just deserts! Of course, that would probably be way too practical.

  10. Rick Bentley

    I see 45 more people will have the opportunity to sue, in Annapolis … I say three cheers for raids and deportations. Those employers who choose to try to play by the rules should NEVER be penalized for it.

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