Saturday, August 18, 2007
Seeking to force federal immigration authorities to disclose information on June immigration raids in New Haven, Connecticut, two immigrant rights groups have filed suit (see complaint) against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). On behalf of JUNTA for Progressive Action and Unidad Latina en Acción, attorneys of the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at Yale Law School (Michael Wishnie, Christopher Lasch, Hope Metcalfe) filed the suit under the Freedom of Information Act in U.S. District Court. The groups are concerned the raids were a "retaliation" against the city: Less than two days after the city approved an immigrant-friendly ID plan, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents swept through Fair Haven, arresting 29 undocumented immigrants. Mayor John DeStefano expressed similar concerns at the time, lashing out against the feds for "targeting" New Haven and allegedly violating immigrants' civil rights. Raids were subsequently suspended.
The suit claims that DHS has failed to respond in a timely manner to two Freedom of Information requests: One sought records regarding the planning of the raids; the other sought any agency correspondence mentioning the municipal ID program.
Click here for more on the suit.