Eleven men who claimed immigration agents violated their rights in 2007 raids on their New Haven, Connecticut neighborhood have won a $350,000 settlement from the U.S. government, attorneys representing the men announced. The government has also agreed to stop deportation proceedings against the men.
The settlement appears to be the largest the U.S. has ever paid in a lawsuit over residential raids, and it is the first to include compensation as well as immigration relief. The men were among 30 people arrested in a raid the day after New Haven began offering identification cards, so critics including New Haven’s mayor claimed the federal sweep was retaliation for the new policy. U.S. immigration officials denied the retaliation claims, saying planning began the year before.
New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, who put the ID program into place, said the settlement highlights faulty immigration policies in the U.S. “Today’s settlement is bigger than a lawsuit. It is about who we are as a nation,” DeStefano said.