NEWARK – The Seton Hall School of Law Center for Social Justice and the Brazilian Voice newspaper demand that the Department of Homeland Security and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement respond to their FOIA request for statistics on warrantless police raids on New Jersey immigrant communities. The DHS refused the request, stating, “a preliminary search of the internet does not indicate that there is substantial current news interest concerning (illegal immigration),” the plaintiffs say in their federal complaint.
The plaintiffs contest that explanation, citing reality, and recent news articles on immigration in The New York Times, the Newark Star-Ledger and the Princeton Packet.
The plaintiffs say the DHS and ICE recruited federal agents for Fugitive Operations Teams that were sent out with a mandate to arrest 1,000 illegal immigrants a year under “Operation Return To Sender.”
The Fugitive Operations Teams conducted raids in 25 New Jersey communities in the past year, operating at night and arresting more than 2,000 suspected illegal immigrants.
The plaintiffs say that federal agents surround a suspected home, announce themselves as police officers, then enter without warrant or informed consent. The armed agents then use intimidation to corral residents, including legal residents, women and children, into a central room and interrogate them in violation of their constitutional rights.