The federal government has agreed to settle a lawsuit by 11 illegal immigrants in Fair Haven who sued Immigration and Customs Enforcement for violating their civil rights.
It was June 2007 when ICE agents with the help of local authorities raided homes in New Haven's Fair Haven neighborhood. After the arrests, eleven men filed a suit claiming their homes were illegally raided. They are represented by law students and attorneys with the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School. The raids came just two days after the Board of Aldermen had approved Mayor John DeStefano’s proposal for an Elm City Resident Card program to offer identification cards to all New Haven residents no matter their immigration status. The plaintiffs alleged that the raids were carried out in retaliation for the City’s ID program and that they were targeted solely on the basis of their Latino appearance. According to a statement by the plaintiff's attorneys, the federal govt will pay $350,000 and has offered plaintiffs either immigration relief known as deferred action or termination of pending deportation proceedings. The attorneys in the case say the agreement appears to be the largest monetary settlement ever paid by the United States in a suit over residential immigration raids, and the first to include both compensation and immigration relief. More details will be announced at a press conference tomorrow in New Haven.