The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit Thursday calling for the cancellation of raids reportedly planned by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) that would take into custody thousands of undocumented migrants.
The lawsuit, filed in district court for the Southern District of New York, argues that the majority of undocumented immigrants facing arrest have not been given proper notice to appear before legal proceedings to make their case for seeking asylum.
“Even when the government sent notices to the right address for a real hearing, it repeatedly sent them too late, for locations unreasonably far from immigrants’ homes,” the lawsuit says. “Notices thus arrived either after the date set for a hearing or just a few days before, requiring indigent families to immediately travel across the country to hearings in distant states.”
Defendants in the lawsuit include acting ICE director Mark Morgan and U.S. Attorney General William Barr.
The raids are expected to take place in at least 10 cities “over multiple days,” The New York Times first reported. The crackdown would come a few weeks after President Donald Trump tweeted about raids that he later delayed.
New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement Thursday that she would “stand up against any threatened incursions on our state’s civil rights because, in America, we value our immigrants.”
Attorney Brad Philipps, whose Los Angeles-based firm is involved in the lawsuit, said raids by ICE would be “inhumane.”
“The Trump administration’s plan to send families and children who came to this country seeking refuge from violence and abuse in their home countries back to those places, without so much as one opportunity to show a judge they are entitled under U.S. law to stay, is fundamentally at odds with what this nation stands for,” Philipps said in a statement. “We hope by this lawsuit to stop the administration’s unjust and inhumane plan in its tracks.”