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Report: Immigration Raids Violated Rights

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Researchers say hundreds of arrest reports from New Jersey and New York show that immigration authorities have been illegally entering immigrants' homes and arresting disproportionate numbers of Latinos, without legal basis. WNYC's Marianne McCune reports.

REPORTER: When it comes to finding and deporting immigrants who aren't supposed to be here, the Department of Homeland Security says its priority is those who pose a threat - from transnational gang members to child sex offenders.

But to meet higher quotas over the past three years, a new report from the Cardozo Law School's Immigration Justice Center says immigration agents have been violating privacy rights and agency rules by entering homes without a warrant or consent. Once there, the report says - they often illegally search and seize whomever they come across. Two-thirds of the people they arrest have no criminal record. And though Latinos make up 66 percent of the immigrants agents set out to arrest, they make up about 90 percent of arrests.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued a short statement, saying its agents are sworn to uphold the laws of our nation, and that they do so with an acute awareness of the impact law enforcement has on the individuals it encounters. For WNYC, I'm Marianne McCune.

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