The U.S. federal government will pay $350,000 to settle a recent civil rights lawsuit filed by 11 different immigrants in response to arrests they underwent after a 2007 series of immigration raids in their houses. All immigrants in the hearings will not be deported.
The largest settlement ever paid by the U.S. government over an immigration raid, many immigration advocates are touting the court settlement as a landmark victory in immigration rights.
Michael J. Wishnie, co-director of the Yale Law School group that represented the plaintiffs, stated that the victory “shows what can happen when people have the courage to stand together to defend their basic human rights. This settlement establishes that no one is above the law, including immigration agents.”
Wishnie added that the settlement will act as a beacon for the thousands of immigrants who continue to face the uncertainties of deportation in America every day.
However, Immigration and Customs Enforcement official Ross Feinstein told The Assoicated Press that the settlement was mainly a time and money-saving measure, as “the government is settling in order to avoid the additional time and expense of further litigation.” The ICE did not admit to any wrongdoing on behalf of its agents.
The 11 men who will split the $350,000 settlement are among 30 people arrested during the June 6, 2007, raids.
Jose Solano-Yangua said he and the 10 other men brought the suit because they refuse to live in fear of immigration services.
“ICE agents broke into my home without permission while I was still sleeping, pulled the covers from my bed, and arrested me for no reason,” Solan-Yangua said. ” “I was terrified and humiliated.”