New Jersey residents settle with feds over immigration raids

Ana Galindo, pictured in this photo, and her husband Walter Chavez settled with ICE after being wrongfully detained in 2008.

Read the article below from the Star Ledger and post your thoughts…

Eight N.J. residents to receive nearly $300K after settling with feds over immigration raids

By Dan Goldberg, New Jersey Star Ledger

It was a little after dawn on a still chilly April morning.

Ana Galindo had just gotten out of the shower when she heard a commotion in Paterson her home. She threw on a dirty T-shirt and came to the bathroom door where she was allegedly confronted by a man she did not know. He demanded her identification.

Galindo showed her New Jersey driver’s license, but the man, she said, wasn’t satisfied.
“Where are the illegal people,” she was asked.

“If you don’t tell me where they are, things will get worse. If you don’t tell me where they are, we’ll arrest you,” one man said, according to a lawsuit brought on Galindo’s behalf.

That suit, filed against the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, was settled this morning. Galindo is one of eight New Jersey plaintiffs who will split $295,000 from the federal government.

The compensation helps, Galindo said, but neither the money nor time has dulled the shame of that 2008 encounter.

Galindo and her husband William Chavez remember six agents inside their Paterson home, and another guarding the door.

One was in Galindo’s face, she said, demanding to know where she was hiding the 15 illegal immigrants who supposedly lived in her 2-bedroom home.

As the shouting continued, Galindo’s 9-year old son ran out of his room half-dressed for school. The agent drew his gun and pointed it at the boy’s chest.

“Other than when my mother and father died, this is the worst thing I’ve ever lived through,” said Galindo, a legal immigrant. “They could have killed my only child.”

An agent allegedly said, “if you’re hiding illegal people here, we’re going to take your son and your residency away.”

The men stayed a few minutes longer before the lone female agent said they had made a mistake; this was the wrong house. Then, according to Chavez, the agent said she might need some roofing done, and asked for his business card.

This was one story. There were several similar stories told in the 148-page complaint filed in 2008 in U.S. District Court in Newark.

Armed ICE agents allegedly rounded up people in the middle of the night, handcuffed teenagers in their underwear, stuck guns in the chests of suspects and “forcibly” prevented one person from calling her lawyer.

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