Info Demanded on Immigration Home Raids

MANHATTAN (CN) – Calling it “home enforcement,” immigration officials unconstitutionally raid homes without warrants, damage property and threaten to arrest U.S. citizen children unless they “disclose the location of their parents,” civil rights groups claim in a FOIA complaint.
     The Immigrant Defense Project, the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama and the Center for Constitutional Rights sued U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday, in Federal Court.
     The 21-page lawsuit includes 107 pages of exhibits.
     Uncle Sam blew off the plaintiffs’ Oct. 27, 2013 FOIA request for records on “policies, procedures, and statistical information relating to home-based enforcement from Jan. 20, 2009 to the present,” coughing up only a 26-page training document from a single DHS office, the civil rights group claim.
     “Home enforcement operations are ICE enforcement actions to arrest individuals, typically for civil immigration operations, in, at, or around homes or residences, often with children present,” the lawsuit states. The home raids began during the Bush administration and have continued since President Obama took office, according to the complaint.
     It adds: “Targets and witnesses of home raids have reported serious constitutional and human rights violations during home enforcement operations. These violations range from unlawful entry into homes, to physical damage of property during raids, to use of racial slurs, to threatening to arrest U.S. citizen children if they do not disclose the location of their parents.”
     But despite repeated documentation of the abuses and litigation around the country, the public has been “kept in the dark as to any past or ongoing investigations into related misconduct,” the complaint states.
     The plaintiffs want to see records on the defendants’ “immigration enforcement practices and policies.”
     The Bush administration called its home raid a “secure communities” policy, and claimed that the raids targeted criminal aliens. But extensive litigation indicated that the raids were pretty much hit or miss, based on opportunity for arrests, rather than criminality.
     The plaintiffs say the Obama administration has not done much to rein in the home raids.

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