LOS ANGELES – On Thursday, the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles heard closing arguments in the trial Gonzalez v. ICE, a class-action lawsuit challenging the “click and arrest” tactics at the heart of ICE’s nationwide deportation dragnet known as “Secure Communities” or S-COMM.
“It’s not controversial. ICE’s ‘click and arrest’ tactics fall afoul of the protections guaranteed for all persons by the U.S. Constitution,” said Jessica Karp Bansal, Co-Legal Director for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON). “ICE can call these detainers by many names, but unconstitutional arrests are just that, unconstitutional and unlawful, whether they happen in Fullerton or Florida.”
The lawsuit challenges ICE’s practice in 42 states (including California) of issuing “ICE detainers” to arrest and jail individuals based on error-ridden database information. The ICE agents issuing these ICE detainers, based in Laguna Niguel, California, neither speak to the individuals nor review their immigration files.
“Trump and ICE can’t change the subject. This trial has exposed the illegality at the heart of ICE’s dragnet. The flourishing of sanctuary cities was a popular revolt against this illegality,” said Pablo Alvarado, NDLON Executive Director. “And as long as the federal government advances a program that seeks to make our families disappear, you can expect only a more vigorous and widespread resistance.”
The plaintiffs’ class includes thousands of individuals currently subject to ICE’s unlawful detainer requests. They are represented by NDLON, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California (ACLU SoCal), and the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC).