The UFCW hearings are a response to ongoing ICE actions initiated under Operation Return to Sender [DHS backgrounder], a controversial program to find and deport illegal immigrants, and are not the first allegations of Fourth Amendment violations by ICE. In November 2007, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; JURIST report] against ICE on behalf of several families who said that ICE agents violently raided their homes without first obtaining court warrants. The suit alleged that the raids were meant to target illegal immigrants but often focused on homes that do not house them and where ICE agents could not "reasonably expect" to find them. The suit further accused ICE of singling out Hispanics and said the raids violate constitutional protections against unreasonable searches.
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