ACLU of Texas has filed a federal lawsuit against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) over an April raid in Allen, Texas, that resulted in the arrest of 280 workers. During the raid, ICE and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials detained hundreds of workers at CVE Technology Group, claiming that the workers were undocumented and working illegally.
ACLU filed an open records request under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for the search warrants that ICE used to conduct the raid. ICE allegedly denied the request because complying would have interfered with their ongoing investigations. ACLU contends that the refusal violated FOIA, and its proffered reasoning was not legally justifiable. Through the lawsuit, the ACLU is seeking to force ICE to provide a legal reason for the denial of the records request.
Under FOIA, federal agencies must respond to records requests within 20 days unless they request additional time in writing to comply with the request. Federal agencies must turn over the requested documents unless they fall within one of nine specific exceptions stated in the law.
According to the ACLU, obtaining these records is critical to determining whether ICE or DHS officials violated the civil rights of these workers during the raid. Armed officials reportedly required between 400 and 600 employees to remain in a warehouse until they could provide valid identification. During the raid, all work ceased at the worksite. Workers were not permitted to use their phones or talk to one another during the raid. Many of the employees were U.S. citizens.
The Allen raid resulted in more arrests at a single worksite than had occurred in the last ten years. Most of the individuals arrested were women who had been in the U.S. for many years.
Our goal is to assist you with your immigration concerns, whether family or business-based. We can evaluate your situation and develop a strategy that is most likely to be efficient and effective in your case. Regardless of the immigration matter that you are facing, the attorneys of Peek & Toland have the experience, knowledge, and reputation that you want and need to advocate on your behalf. When results matter most, contact us at (512) 474-4445.