LOS ANGELES (CN) – Seven months after one of its biggest worksite raids in decades, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement refuses to release records of the raid in which it arrested more than 200 people, hauled 140 of them downtown – though it had warrants for only eight – and still require many of them to wear electronic ankle bracelets, the National Immigration Law Center says in Federal Court.
Department of Homeland Security and ICE agents raided the Micro Solutions Enterprises manufacturing plant in Van Nuys on Feb. 7. They had arrest warrants for eight, but arrested and detained more than 200, handcuffed most or all of the men, and prevented them from calling attorneys or their families, to request the documents the ICE agents demanded.
The NILC and the ACLU say ICE has blown off their FOIA requests for records on a matter of public concern: the ICE’s indiscriminate use of force, mass detentions and interrogations, and indiscriminate use of electronic monitoring devices. Plaintiffs say ICE and DHS are using these tactics nationwide.
“Plaintiffs seek to determine whether the MSE Raid and the subsequent treatment of any persons detained were carried out in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local statutes and regulations, as well as with the agency’s policies and procedures and consistent with its internal guidelines,” the complaint states. “If abusive practices occurred in connection with the MSE Raid, public disclosure of this information may lead to a salutary reform of the government’s practices. …
“To date, ICE and DHS have failed to produce a single document in response to Plaintiffs’ request under the FOIA for the release of agency records pertaining to the MSE raid. Having exhausted its administrative remedies, Plaintiffs now bring this action to enjoin ICE and DHS from continuing to improperly withhold documents in violation of the FOIA.”
The 16-page filing includes 43 pages of correspondence between plaintiffs’ attorneys and the ICE.