[JURIST] Law enforcement officials from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) [official website] violated the constitutional privacy and due process rights of suspected illegal aliens by raiding their homes [CSJ backgrounder], according to a complaint [PDF text] filed in New Jersey federal court Thursday. The lawsuit alleges that immigration officials entered eight homes in New Jersey between August 2006 and January 2008 without consent or a judicial warrant during pre-dawn raids, violating the due process requirements of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments [texts]. Reuters has more.
In September 2007, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; press release, PDF] against ICE on behalf of several families who say that ICE agents violently raided [JURIST report] their homes without first obtaining court warrants. That suit alleged that the raids, part of a program called Operation Return to Sender [DHS backgrounder], are meant to target illegal immigrants but often focus on homes that do not house them and where ICE agents could not "reasonably expect" to find them. The total number of aliens detained by ICE annually for immigration violations jumped from approximately 95,000 to 283,000 between 2001 and 2006, according to a July 2007 report [PDF text; JURIST report] by the Government Accountability Office.