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Federal judge denies immigrant's class-action injunction in ICE raids

In February, this blog discussed a settlement of a lawsuit filed against immigration officials after Immigration and Customs Enforcement descended on a number of homes in Connecticut and conducted ICE raids. The government agreed to settle the civil federal litigation in that case for damages, and further agreed to halt deportation proceedings against a number of immigrants.

More recently, a federal judge in New York issued a ruling in a lawsuit filed in 2007 by 24 immigrants who say that they were targeted for pre-dawn raids. The immigrants say that ICE agents conducted pre-dawn raids without a warrant or without factoring for immigration status of the targeted individuals.

The group of 24 people sought to obtain an injunction to bar such activity. The judge denied the injunction, apparently ruling that the class-action nature of the federal litigation was too broad to support a class-action injunction barring future ICE raids.

The judge says that the ruling does not relate to a class certification for damages, but is confined to the issue of whether an injunction should issue barring future potential raids. The judge wrote in her ruling that, "Based on the facts in the record on this motion (and the record on this motion is voluminous), there can be little argument that there are serious common questions regarding whether the 2007 raids were performed in a constitutionally and legally appropriate manner," according to Courthouse News.

The court records reportedly include 120 affidavits attesting to ICE raids targeting the homes of Latinos. The judge wrote in her order denying an injunction that, "The fact that the Latinos who were subject to raids in 2007 share common questions does not, however, automatically confer on Latinos in the New York area in 2012 and beyond the same potential commonality."

She essentially ruled that the evidence presented involved too few immigrants to represent the estimated 2 million Latinos in the area to support injunctive relief, barring future raids. But the ruling did not necessarily extend that ruling to other civil rights relief in federal court.

Source: Courthouse News, "Latino New Yorkers Can't Block Immigration Raids," Adam Klasfeld, April 17, 2012

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