Nashville Immigration Raid Prompts Lawsuit

In October 2010, agents with the U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement agency illegally entered a Nashville, Tennessee, apartment and conducted unlawful search-and-seizures resulting in two arrests, according to a lawsuit recently filed against the federal agency.

Elliott Ozment, the attorney who filed the lawsuit, told the Tennessean the case addresses the typical operating procedures of immigration enforcement officers in Nashville, who obtain the former addresses of suspected illegal immigrants, then arrest whoever they find in residence.

In this case, ICE agents allegedly threatened to break down the defendants’ door, even though they did not have a warrant, the Tennessean reported. After being let in to the apartment, the agents searched the premises, including the cell phone belonging to one resident. After discovering a suspected illegal immigrant listed on the cell phone’s contacts list, the agents arrested two of the apartment’s residents, according to the news source.

The Tennessean reported one of the two arrested individuals is now undergoing deportation proceedings and the other has returned to Guatemala.

Another Tennessee community, Shelbyville, was in the news recently. Civil rights activists said ICE conducted retaliatory raids after Latino residents complained to federal agencies that Shelbyville law enforcement agents routinely engage in racial profiling and illegal arrests.