The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday filed a preemptive lawsuit ahead of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids on undocumented immigrants reportedly occurring Sunday.
The lawsuit, filed by five immigration legal services organizations, seeks to protect people who would be targeted by the raids, arguing that constitutional due process requires the immigrants be given a hearing in front of an immigration judge before being deported.
“The Trump Administration’s plan to arrest and deport thousands of Central American families and children without giving them a fair day in court is both illegal and immoral,” Ahilan Arulanantham, senior counsel at the ACLU Southern California, said in a statement. “More than one hundred years ago, the Supreme Court decided that immigrants could not be deported without due process. These vulnerable refugees deserve that basic protection.”
The New York Times reported early Thursday that ICE would begin raids Sunday, an operation that President TrumpDonald TrumpCapitol fencing starts coming down after 'Justice for J6' rally Netanyahu suggests Biden fell asleep in meeting with Israeli PM Aides try to keep Biden away from unscripted events or long interviews, book claims MORE delayed weeks ago.
The administration contends that deportations can be made without hearings if the immigrants in question have missed previously scheduled court dates.
The case filed in the U.S. District Court in New York, Southern District argues that many immigrants have failed to appear because of bureaucratic errors and deliberate misdirection by immigration enforcement agencies.
The raids are the latest hard-line approach taken by the administration to deter migrants from making the journey from Central America to the U.S.