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NYT Editorial: ICE Agents Ran Amok in Suburban New York Raids

New York Times
Editorial

In a series of raids in suburban New York in 2006 and 2007, agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement burst into private homes in the dead of night, without warrants, looking for undocumented immigrants, often in the wrong houses. They pounded on doors, terrorized innocent residents, ineptly drew guns on police officers who were supposed to be their partners, and found hardly any of the gang members they were hunting. It was a stunning display of aggression and incompetence.

It took six years, but the lawsuit filed after the raids finally ended last week, with a settlement approved by a federal district judge in New York. Under the agreement, ICE agents will now have to honor some elementary norms of the Fourth Amendment, which bars unreasonable searches. Its agents will be forbidden to invade private homes without “a reasonable, articulable suspicion of danger.” When they have no warrant and need consent to enter a private home, they will have to ask permission in a language the resident understands, “whenever feasible.” They must also get permission to enter yards and other private areas adjoining homes. The federal government will pay $1 million in damages and fees, including $36,000 to each of 22 plaintiffs.

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