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Latino Daily News

Monday August 1, 2011

Can ICE Enter Homes in the Middle of the Night and Arrest Undocumented Immigrants Without Warrants?

Can ICE Enter Homes in the Middle of the Night and Arrest Undocumented Immigrants Without Warrants?

Photo: Immigrants await their fate as courts decide whether or not ICE violated their rights

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

More than a dozen immigrants await their fate as courts decide whether or not Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) violated their rights.

In a number of 2007 raids, 14 undocumented immigrants were taken in to custody when ICE officials entered their homes in the middle of the night.

What has immigrant and civil rights groups outraged is the fact that none fo the 14 had any kind of order or notice from ICE before they were detained.

One of the men, Jose Matias Pretzantin said his building was raided at 5 a.m., and that no one knew what was happening.

“We were all so scared. They didn’t give us time to get dressed, they handcuffed us all barefoot,” he told the NY Daily News.

He and his family were interrogated by agents until about 6 p.m. he said, and when the questioning was over they were ordered to be deported.

Anne Pilsbury, director of Central American Legal Assistance, is representing the 14 immigrants and pointed out that the addresses the raids occurred at were for those used by immigrants that no longer lived there. In the end, those that were arrested were not the ones agents had been looking for.

Pilsbury has argued that evidence collected during the raids cannot be used to deport these individuals because they are protected from unreasonable searches and seizures. Immigration judges agreed with her to start with, but when Homeland Security appealed those decisions, the Board of Immigration Appeals sided with the government three times, and just once in favor of the immigrants.

Even in the best case scenario, the b immigrants can only hope to not be deported and simply be released, allowing them to go back in to hiding.