Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Groups plan on suing Otero Sheriff's over arrests. Sheriff's deputies used trickery to get into their houses and ask about their immigration statuses
Immigrants' rights activists are suing the Otero County Sheriff's Department over the arrest of nearly 30 undocumented immigrants in Chaparral last month, officials with the groups Border Network for Human Rights and Paso Del Norte Civil Rights Project said.
The groups said they would file the lawsuit in Las Cruces before noon Wednesday.
"This is done on behalf of community members," said Fernando Garcia, executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights. "We hope it brings attention to the kind of enforcement happening in Chaparral."
Garcia wouldn't give more details about the lawsuit but said a press conference would take place Wednesday.
Several human rights groups have been gathering testimony from Chaparral residents in the past few weeks and found that some said that Sheriff's deputies used trickery to get into their houses and ask about their immigration statuses. Immigrants' rights advocates said immigration enforcement should be left to federal agencies.
Officials with the Otero County Sheriff's Department have denied they targeted immigrants during their operation, which was funded by federal money under the program Operation Stonegarden।