NY Times

LONG ISLAND officials protested when federal agents searching for immigrant gang members raided local homes two weeks ago. The agents had rousted American citizens and legal immigrants from their beds in the night, complained Lawrence W. Mulvey, the Nassau County police commissioner, and arrested suspected illegal immigrants without so much as a warrant.

?We don?t need warrants to make the arrests,? responded Peter J. Smith, the special agent in charge in New York for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, the agency that conducted the raids.

His concise answer helps explain the friction that the Bush administration?s recent campaign of immigration enforcement has caused. Last week, immigration officials announced that they had made more than 1,300 arrests across the country over the summer when they went looking for gang members. Since the raids were carried out under immigration law, many protections in place under the American criminal codes did not apply. Foreign residents of the United States, whether here legally or not, answer to a different set of rules.

Immigration agents are not required to obtain warrants to detain suspects. The agents also have broad authority to question people about their immigration status and to search them and their homes. There are no Miranda rights that agents must read when making arrests. Detained immigrants have the right to a lawyer, but only one they can pay for.

While criminal suspects are generally sent to jails near the courts that hear their cases, immigration agents have discretion in deciding where to hold immigrants detained for deportation. Many suspected illegal immigrants who were detained in Nassau County, for example, were quickly moved to York, Pa., distant from family and legal advice.

This parallel course for noncitizens is not new. But it has come into fuller view as the enforcement drive has swept up record numbers of illegal immigrants, also reaching legal immigrants and citizens. In answer, a barrage of lawsuits is challenging both the laws and their enforcers.


5 Responses to “No Need for a Warrant, You?re an Illegal Alien”

  1. 1 George(formerly-Ed)

    Yeah It is OK with me in fact I would be loving it if it were not for the Legal immigrants & Americans. But surely the Legal ones can sue they can not circumvent the contitution I know Bush does but what about ICE.

  2. 2 allamerican

    last yeear they deported 195,000?? so what! they are coming across the border at a rate of 4,000 per day in Arizona alone! PUT THE G. DAMN NATIONAL GUARD WITH MACHINE GUNS ON THE BORDER AND STOP DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY!

    this is just garbage about needing workers, and we know it!

  3. 3 newyorker

    This made big headlines in the NY papers. We had the
    ACLU here saying you can’t enforce immigration laws
    because they are Unconstitutional. If we can’t enforce
    our own laws we are in deep shit.

  4. 4 Angel

    How did we ever get to this point?

  5. 5 AMERICANCITIZENSFRST

    Illegals aliens have no right at all , the only right they have is to go home … On the othere hand AMERICAN CITIZENS HAVE ALL THE RIGHTS UNDER THE CONSTITUTION AND NO PRESIDENT OR OFFICER HAVE THE RIGHT TO VIOLATED THEM… The law is the law….

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