A civil rights group sued the federal government Wednesday on behalf of five Hispanic citizens who say they were detained and harassed by agents carrying out raids targeting illegal immigrants in south Georgia.
The Southern Poverty Law Center said Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents used “Gestapo-like” tactics as they fanned across three Georgia counties in September, breaking into homes and stopping people in their cars because they looked “Mexican.”
The class-action suit seeks not only compensatory damages for the plaintiffs – including a landlord whose property was damaged – but also a court order preventing ICE from conducting similar raids.
Marc Raimondi, an ICE spokesman, said the raids were conducted legally. “We don’t conduct random sweeps,” he said, noting that the agency had spent a month investigating the area and had compiled a list of illegal immigrants who had worked at a poultry plant using fraudulent documents. “Race or ethnicity played no role,” he said.
City to add experts in Sept. 11 search
The city of New York is planning to hire several more forensic experts to help hunt for human remains around the World Trade Center site after a cache of human bones, believed to be those of Sept. 11 victims, was found there last month, a deputy mayor said Wednesday.
As many as 10 more forensic anthropologists will be hired temporarily to help in the next phase of the recovery project, which involves excavating more manholes and underground areas, tearing up parts of side streets and exploring rooftops of selected buildings near the 16-acre site, Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler said. Officials say that work could take up to a year.
Some 200 pieces of bone and other remains have been found since last month, when some of them were discovered in a manhole along the western edge of the lower Manhattan site.
Father convicted in girl’s mutilation
An Ethiopian immigrant was convicted Wednesday of the genital mutilation of his 2-year-old daughter and was sentenced to 10 years in prison in what was believed to be the first such criminal case in the United States.
Khalid Adem, 30, was found guilty of aggravated battery and cruelty to children. Prosecutors said he used scissors to remove his daughter’s clitoris in his family’s Atlanta-area apartment in 2001. The child’s mother, Fortunate Adem, said she did not discover it until more than a year later.
Adem, who had no criminal record, could have been sentenced to up to 40 years in prison. He held his face in his hands and wept loudly after the jury’s verdict was read.
During her father’s trial, the girl, now 7, clutched a teddy bear as she testified on videotape that her father “cut me on my private part.”
“This child has suffered, will suffer, the rest of her life,” Judge Richard Winegarden told Adem during sentencing.