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Southern Poverty Law Center sues ICE over Stillmore immigration raids

In September, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents began sweeps in Stillmore, Georgia relating to illegal hiring at the Crider poultry plant in that town. Now, the SPLC is suing over those raids. On a perhaps related note, the Southern Poverty Law Center (more on them at that link or here) has at least one indirect link to the Mexican government. From the AP:

A civil rights group sued the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency Wednesday, claiming its agents had harassed five U.S. citizens of Mexican descent during raids targeting illegal immigrants in southeast Georgia... The Southern Poverty Law Center said the agents were engaging in a "Gestapo-like" campaign to drive Latinos out of the area. It claimed the agents entered houses without warrants, stopped cars on the street, terrified Latinos and vandalized their property.

The second link below has the town's mayor saying something similar, and has links to other instances of illegal immigration supporters also invoking Godwin's law.

"They trampled on the constitutional rights of every person of Hispanic descent who was unfortunate to be in their way," said Mary Bauer, an attorney with the center who is representing the plaintiffs. "You don't get to stop all who look brown." ...The center, based in Montgomery, Ala., wants an injunction preventing ICE from conducting similar raids, as well as unspecified compensation for the plaintiffs.

ICE says the SPLC's characterization is "patently false", and elsewhere the article says, "agents converged on workers' homes after getting the addresses of suspected illegal immigrants from Crider's files." And, even if SPLC's characterization is partially correct, it's pretty obvious that their ultimate goal is preventing immigration raids in general.

Another plaintiff is the landlord of a trailer park who was apparently renting to the plant's workers and who claims ICE agents broke into his trailers. I didn't quote him in the previous posts on this issue, but I believe it was in either the AP or CSM report.

And, here's yet another clue to what the SPLC is really after:

The center is seeking class-action status for the lawsuit to cover everyone of Hispanic origin or appearance who lives within the area covered by immigration agents headquartered in Atlanta...

Previously:

Patrik Jonsson promotes illegal immigration in Stillmore, Georgia

Russ Bynum/AP promotes illegal immigration (Stillmore, Georgia)

Immigration · Wed, 11/01/2006 - 11:01 · Importance: 4