Immigration lawyer Peter Schey of the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law is suing the feds over a recent immigration raid in Van Nuys, California. He also has at least a few links to the Mexican government, yet Anna Gorman of the Los Angeles Times yet again fails to inform her readers of that fact in her report "L.A. civil rights attorney files claims over federal immigration raid" (link). Per her, he's just a "longtime Los Angeles civil rights attorney" who's "trying a new strategy to push federal immigration authorities to change the way they conduct workplace raids" when in fact there's probably a bit more that he wants.
He claims that constitutional rights were violated because ICE agents locked down the building and didn't allow people to leave until they showed that they were citizens or legal immigrants:
"That group detention is completely unconstitutional... They have no individual probable cause, yet they come in like the Gestapo."
The article quotes two other immigration lawyers on the case: Carl Shusterman says it's a long shot, but John Ayala of the American Immigration Lawyers Association disagrees. And:
[A citizen who was detained] said immigration authorities could have handled the arrests in a more diplomatic and less theatrical way.
Unfortunately, there's the possibility that "drama" might have been the point. Micheal Chertoff of the DHS has hinted at conducting raids in order to inflame the left, and the whole raid might have been designed to generate outrage and lawsuits from the usual suspects, such as those mentioned above. If that's the case, Chertoff's goal would be to generate a backlash in order to get what Bush wants: a massive amnesty and a "guest" worker program. Note that ICE called the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) - a group that's allegedly collaborated with the Mexican government - shortly before the raid.
Needless to say, Gorman doesn't look into that possibility.
Please write readers.rep *at* latimes.com with your thoughts.
Immigration2008a · Sat, 04/26/2008 - 14:41 · Importance: 4