This program was supposed to focus on illegal immigrants who posed a threat to national security. That wasn’t the case. Law enforcement abused the program.
BY SUMATHI REDDY
Immigration agents in Long Island and New Jersey forced their way into private residences without judicial warrants, arrested hundreds without any legal basis and committed widespread constitutional violations, according to a report to be released today on home raids carried out by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
Nassau Police Commissioner Lawrence W. Mulvey headed an advisory panel that reviewed the report from the Immigration Justice Clinic of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University.
The study found that two-thirds of arrests made in home raids under the National Fugitive Operations Program were not of targeted individuals but of undocumented immigrants, largely Latinos, with no criminal records. The program was designed to focus on immigrants who pose a threat to national security.
“There is an established pattern of misconduct, certainly in New York and New Jersey, enough to really suggest that we need to look hard at whether this is a widespread national phenomenon,” said Peter L. Markowitz, director of the clinic. “I think if these types of systematic constitutional violations were happening targeting any other group in society we would have seen a national outcry a long time ago.”