Unprecedented Settlement Reached Over ICE Raids

Feds agree to pay $350,000 to men arrested during 2007 raids in New Haven.

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    Eleven men arrested in 2007 immigration raid in New Haven have reached an unprecedented settlement with the federal government paying them $350,000 and effectively ending any immigration proceedings against them.

    On the morning of June 6, 2007, agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), along with other federal, state and local authorities, raided several New Haven homes, arresting nearly 30 people in a roundup of suspected illegal immigrants.

    The officers raided homes without warrants or consent from the people living in them, according to the legal team representing the plaintiffs.

    Critics claimed the raids were conducted in retaliation to the decision by New Haven Mayor John DeStefano to implement the Elm City Resident Card program. The program offered identification cards to all New Haven residents, regardless to their immigration status.

    "I remember everything that happened to me that morning as if it were yesterday," said Edinson Yangua-Calva. "There are things I haven't been able to get over. It is something that stays with you forever."

    Yangua-Calva was one of 11 men arrested that day, who brought a civil rights lawsuit against the federal government.

    The government reached a settlement with the men, which will pay them a total of $350,000. The deal also allows the plaintiffs the choice of deferring any immigration action against them for four years, or the termination of any pending deportation proceedings against them. Those who choose the deferred action, can reapply for a permanent status in the U.S. The other choice will end all government immigration actions against them, according to Mark Pedulla, a Yale Law student with the legal team that provided pro bono counsel to the plaintiffs.

    The agreement is the single largest monetary settlement every paid by the United States in a suit over residential immigration raids, Pedulla said. It is also the first to include both compensation and immigration relief.

    The 11 men, who all still reside in New Haven, will be at a news conference about the settlement Wednesday morning at the Wilson Branch Library in New Haven.