Utah family, ACLU sue federal agents over 2 raids


SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah family who says they endured two aggressive raids from armed federal agents who refused to show a warrant filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the U.S. marshals and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court by Utah’s American Civil Liberties Union alleges one named ICE agent and 48 other unidentified officers violated the family’s constitutional rights when they searched the home last April, detaining five adults without cause and terrorizing four small children.

“We think this is a very important lawsuit because we are standing up for a family who has been subjected to horrible practices. We believe that there needs to be accountability for this,” John Mejia, ACLU Utah’s legal director, said during a press conference Tuesday announcing the lawsuit.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of the family — the grandmother, Alicia Amaya Carmona, 48; her three adult sons, Abel Ramirez Jr., 31, Eduardo Ramirez, 28, Carlos Ramirez, 27; her daughter-in-law, Berenice Resendiz, 27; and four grandchildren ranging in age from 2 to 6 years old — is part of the ACLU’s nationwide Immigrant Rights Project and is the first of its kind in Utah.

The ACLU confirmed that Carmona, of Mexico, was in the country without documentation and is now awaiting deportation. The four adult children have legal status under the Deferred Action Childhood Arrival program, while the grandchildren are U.S. citizens.

Aside from asking where where they could find the grandfather of the family, who was facing an indictment for unlawful re-entry into the country but no violent crimes, the agents gave no clear reason for the raids, according to the lawsuit.

In a written statement issued Tuesday, Carl Rusnok, communications director for ICE in the region, declined comment on the lawsuit, emphasizing that the agency’s “lack of comment should not be construed as agreement with or stipulation to any of the allegations.”

“As part of the Department of Homeland Security’s homeland security mission, our trained law enforcement professionals adhere to the department’s mission and values, and uphold our laws while continuing to provide the nation with safety and security,” Rusnok said.

More information will be posted throughout the day.

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Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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