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ICE Raid Declared Illegal

La Opinin, Posted: Feb 24, 2009

LOS ANGELES -- An immigration judge ruled that the raid conducted on Feb. 7, 2008 at Micro Solutions Enterprises in Van Nuys violated ICE's rules of operation, and ordered that one of the detainees be released from the deportation process, reports La Opinin. The ruling was issued Feb. 10 and was made public on Feb. 20. The judge found in favor of 23-year-old Gregorio Perez Cruz, originally from Puebla, Mexico, who was one of the more than 130 detainees picked up in the afternoon raid. Perez's own immigration status has not been resolved but he will avoid deportation, at least for now, reports La Opinin.

Immigration lawyers said the decision by Judge Ashley Tabaddor has set a legal precedent that could benefit immigrants who are in deportation proceedings across the country, including other Micro Solutions workers. Judge Tabaddor said that ICE had acted with prejudice, which made the arrest unlawful and the statements obtained through interrogation inadmissible. Detainees were reportedly not allowed to make telephone calls and were questioned without the presence of a legal representative.

The court decision came after organizations such as the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in Southern California and National Lawyers Guild in Los Angeles put pressure on ICE to disclose documents on the protocol and logistics the agents carried out in the raid. According to the ruling, ICE did not comply with the protocol of the Worksite Enforcement Policy Memorandum, a guide that the federal agency must meet when carrying out their operations. However, La Opinin reports, this ruling does not determine whether ICE violated the detainees' constitutional rights.

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