A federal court reversed a man's deportation order Thursday, citing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) tactics used to apprehend him.
Gregorio Perez Cruz, who entered the country illegally in 1994, was arrested in an ICE raid at Micro Solutions Enterprises, a printer cartridge factory.
Agents stormed the factory after getting a search warrant in February 2008 for employment-related documents and arrest warrants for eight employees.
Agents blocked all visible exits and announced that no one could leave or use their cellphones.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals determined Thursday that Perez shouldn’t be deported because his arrest was outside the parameters of the search warrant, despite him disclosing his status to authorities.
″[The] search warrant here authorized a search only for the employer’s records — presumably, paper documents or electronic files," Judge Marsha Barzon, appointed by former President Clinton, wrote in her opinion.
"Yet, the agents used the warrant’s authority to enter the working area and detain hundreds of workers. Why a search for records required going onto the floor of a large printer-cartridge factory is unclear.”
The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California and attorney Noemi Ramirez, who represented Perez, both said the ruling could apply elsewhere because ICE uses similar tactics around the country.
“ICE cannot carry out preplanned mass detentions, interrogations, and arrests that violate a person’s Fourth Amendment rights,” Ramirez told The Associated Press.
“This victory is not merely Mr. Perez’s victory, but a victory for people that value freedom, that believe the Constitution means what it says and for those that believe that the immigrant community is not alone in their struggle.”
ICE declined to comment on the case on Friday.