On March 8, 2007, attorneys with the Greater Boston Legal Services, the American Civil Liberties Union, and private firms filed a habeas corpus petition in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, challenging the seizure, detention, and transportation of undocumented workers that ...
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On March 8, 2007, attorneys with the Greater Boston Legal Services, the American Civil Liberties Union, and private firms filed a habeas corpus petition in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, challenging the seizure, detention, and transportation of undocumented workers that were swept up in a massive workplace raid conducted on March 6, 2007 by agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Division (ICE) of the Department of Homeland Security. The raid, which was code named "Operation United Front," targeted suspected undocumented workers at the Michael Bianco, Inc. leather goods factory in New Bedford, Massachusetts. In the process of the raid, ICE officials detained five company managers and 360 workers. The detainees were initially held in Massachusetts and some were later transferred to holding facilities in Harlingen and El Paso, Texas.
Carlos Enrique Avila Sandoval, the Consul General of Guatemala was the named petitioner, acting as the "next friend" of the detainees. Petitioner sought a temporary restraining order to halt further transfers of the detainees outside of Massachusetts, claiming that the detainees were being deliberately transferred out of state to defeat the jurisdiction of the Court.
The District Court (Judge Richard G. Stearns) held an emergency hearing on the evening of March 8, 2007 and issued a TRO, stopping all further out-of-state transfers and instructing the government not to unduly restrictions the detainees' access to counsel, pending resolution of whether the Court had jurisdiction over the case. The government maintained that it did not, and the Court ordered the parties to fully brief that issue. The complaint was subsequently amended on March 13, 2007 to include class action allegations. The government moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
A series of hearings followed regarding discovery and detainee transfers pending the Court's ruling on the jurisdictional challenge.
On May 7, 2007, Judge Stearns granted the government's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, holding that the REAL ID Act of 2005 which amended certain parts of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. §§ 1252, stripped the District Court of jurisdiction to hear petitioners' claims. He indicated that the petitioners would have to challenge any alleged violations of their rights by seeking review either through the administrative system or court of appeals after the conclusion of removal proceedings. Petitioners appealed.
On November 27, 2007, the First Circuit Court of Appeals [Judges Michael Boudin, Bruce M. Selya, Jeffrey R. Howard] affirmed the district court decision that petitioners lacked subject matter jurisdiction. Aguilar v. U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement Div. of Dep't of Homeland Sec., 510 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2007).Dan Dalton - 11/18/2007
Jennifer Bronson - 11/28/2013