June 26, 2008, - 11:25 am

Absurd Lawsuits of the Year: U.S. Citizens Sue Govt Over Children Seeing ICE Arrests, Other Stupid Stuff

By Debbie Schlussel
This is WAAAAAY more annoying than the woman who sued Victoria’s Secret over hitting herself in the eye with thong underwear.
Several U.S. citizens are suing the government over Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids, in lawsuits that go far beyond absurd.
One woman, Denise Shippy, is suing because ICE Agents arrested illegal aliens in front of her young kids whom she brought to work and she thinks the government should pay for her kids seeing the handcuffs and her having to explain to them that these people were here illegally and broke the law.

deniseshippy.jpgnitindhopade.jpg

Denise Shippy, Her Kids, Nitin Dhopade: “Traumatized” By ICE Doing Its Job

Um, do her kids know about criminals and bad people? Do they know that there are police in this country who arrest them? Better not break the traumatic news to them. Wow, how unprepared these kiddies of hers will be as adults. If only my parents knew of this new type of litigation. They could have sued Channel 7 News for reporting on the “Oakland County Killer,” who kidnapped, molested, and killed children. We could have made a mint.
Then there’s Nitin Dhopade, Chief Financial Officer of Micro Solutions Enterprises. Being in charge of saving money and managing finances for his company, he was probably well aware of the 138 illegal aliens his small company employed and which ICE arrested. But rather than thank his lucky stars that ICE and the U.S. government have no cojones to go after him and his company, he’s suing America for detaining him for AN HOUR! What’s worse, agents told him he couldn’t use his cellphones. So sad, too bad.
So, he’s suing. Absurd. The fact is that members of law enforcement have the right to arrest, detain, and even jail material witnesses. In this case, that didn’t happen. He was just sent to a room for an hour so that ICE agents could conduct their raid and arrest illegal aliens in an orderly manner. This is standard ICE procedure. They don’t want angry employers in the way, and they don’t want them tipping off other illegal alien employees not to come to work because there’s a raid in progress.
114 U.S. citizens have filed these frivolous lawsuits against the Department of Homeland Security over such brief ICE detentions and “trauma.”
If suits like this are victorious, perhaps ICE should just disband (which wouldn’t be such a bad idea, anyway). More about these people “scarred for life” because law enforcement did their job:

Nitin Dhopade, the chief financial officer for Micro Solutions Enterprises, was headed toward the accounting department on the afternoon of Feb. 7 to deliver checks he had just signed. Suddenly, he says, he encountered armed men and women wearing bulletproof vests and uniforms branded with “ICE,” which stands for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Dhopade, 47, says he and 30 other administrative workers for the Van Nuys, Calif., company, which recycles used toner and ink cartridges, were marched down a stairwell lined by officers. The workers were ordered against a wall and told not to touch anything or use their cellphones. “There was no way you could leave. You were definitely detained,” he says. “None of us were in handcuffs, but there was no way you could say ‘I’m leaving.'”
That marked the beginning of a surprise raid that would result in the arrests of 138 suspected illegal immigrants, about one-fifth of MSE’s workforce. Also swept up in the same raid were more than 100 U.S. citizens and legal residents, including Dhopade, a naturalized U.S. citizen from India. They say they were illegally detained at the factory for an hour when ICE agents blocked the doors and interrogated them, forbidding them to leave or go to the bathroom without an escort.
Whether their brief detention was a mere inconvenience or a flagrant violation of their constitutional rights is the subject of a growing debate that seems likely to be resolved in federal court. . . . Increasingly, U.S. citizens and legal residents who work alongside illegal immigrants are being detained and interrogated, too. And some, such as Dhopade, are filing claims or lawsuits against the government.
Dhopade says he was a victim of racial profiling by ICE. An ICE agent questioned him about his immigration status and his ability to speak English “because of my skin color,” he says. “None of the white folks in the office ‚Ķ that I know of were asked for proof of citizenship. To be asked for proof of citizenship, in this country, it’s an insult. This is the United States of America. This country does not require that.”

Um, actually, it does require that, if a member of law enforcement asks you to produce it–especially a member of ICE.

In April, the Center for Human Rights & Constitutional Law, a public interest law firm here, filed claims for damages on behalf of 114 MSE employees, all citizens or legal permanent residents, also called green-card holders. The claims allege that they were subjected to “false imprisonment” and “detention without justification” and seek $5,000 each in damages from the federal government.
The lawsuits and claims against the government are part of a strategy by immigration lawyers to halt or change workplace raids. Peter Schey, president and executive director of the center, acknowledges that “we’re hoping the prospect of thousands of U.S. citizens over time filing claims for damages against the United States government might cause (ICE) to reconsider how these raids are conducted.” . . .
Denise Shippy, nine months pregnant the day of the MSE raid, says it was more than an inconvenience.
She had planned to take off that afternoon for parent-teacher conferences and a doctor’s appointment. But Shippy, 30, needed to train a receptionist to fill in for her while she was on maternity leave, so she took her two children to the office with her. The raid occurred as she settled Cassidy, 7, and Ricky, 9, into the mailroom for lunch.
As she left the mailroom, Shippy found the lobby filled with ICE agents, and she, the children and co-workers were herded in there. When Shippy tried to respond to an e-mail, she says, one ICE agent said, “Stop typing.”
“My rights were violated,” Shippy says. “I am a citizen of this United States. I was born here. I’m not who they’re looking for. I wasn’t allowed to leave. . . . I couldn’t go anywhere and couldn’t do anything. Neither could my children.”
Although she was upset, she tried to calm her kids, she says. She needed to use the restroom, but held off because she didn’t want an agent to accompany her.
“I didn’t want to scare the heck out of my kids,” she says. “I was trying to be cool and calm for my children. My heart was racing.”
At one point, agents started escorting handcuffed workers – suspected illegal immigrants – from the factory floor out the front door. Her children asked why the workers were handcuffed, what they had done wrong and what would happen to them, she says.
“That was when I started getting angry,” she says. “My kids should not have had to watch these things. They saw people being led out in handcuffs. These are people who are recognizable to my children.”
Shippy, who gave birth to a boy on Feb. 19, returned to work June 9 and says she still feels justified in filing a claim.
“I’m not some money-hungry person,” she says. “This is something I’m pretty passionate about. It shouldn’t have happened the way it did.”

PUH-LEEZE. If the people recognizable to her kids are the ones being handcuffed, that means this woman knew her company employed illegal aliens and did nothing about it. That’s the lesson she should be worried that he kids are observing.
Another conundrum: ICE agents are damned because they allegedly didn’t ask the White people for their proof of citizenship and detained the Indian guy. Yet, on the other hand, ICE agents are damned because they, in fact, did detain a White chick.
Hmmm . . . same lawyer, same lawsuit against ICE. Looks like these immigration and “civil liberties” lawyers need to get their stories and arguments straight. Or do they?
As they noted, the whole reason they’re filing this frivolous lawsuit is to stop ICE raids. The lawyers should be sanctioned and their resource-wasting, court-clogging lawsuit thrown out.

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12 Responses

“… the whole reason they’re filing this frivolous lawsuit is to stop ICE raids.”
Well, that’s the mouthpiece’s reason. The alleged victims are filing because they smell big bucks.

DocLiberty on June 26, 2008 at 12:03 pm

Like 1984. Bad is good, good is bad. A Government agency is sued for following the law. If someone had written about this 50 years ago, no one would have believed it.

c f on June 26, 2008 at 12:35 pm

And yet another reason children DO NOT belong in the workplace. What in the hell are these big corporations thinking with making the work environment into romper room?
Another glaring absurdity is the Maria (last name not to be used), a 39-year-old Pacoima resident who worked at MSE for eight years.
“She says she entered the USA illegally 15 years ago from Mexico so she could give her children a better education. One of her three children, a 14-year-old girl, is a U.S. citizen.
Maria says she’ll fight to remain in the USA because she doesn’t want to be separated from her family, especially her daughter. The girl’s father, Maria’s longtime partner, is a U.S. citizen and will care for their daughter if Maria is deported.
“She’s not going to leave,” Maria says of the girl, an eighth-grader. “This is her country.”
And the topper… Maria says. “I didn’t know about my rights.”
It sounds to me that ‘illegal alien Maria’, which has spent 38.5% of her life in America, with her ‘longtime US citizen baby-father partner’ picked up some knowledge of what her rights are and are not.
The girl’s father, Maria’s longtime partner, is a U.S. citizen. For Christ sake that’s as dumb and traitorous to the US as the ass from Taylor doing fraud marriages for the Chahine posse.
Throw her manipulative ass out along with her 2 illegal kids and the rest of the illegals!

West Dearbornistan on June 26, 2008 at 1:29 pm

Um, actually, it does require that [producing ID], if a member of law enforcement asks you to produce it–especially a member of ICE
Er, no: while ID may be required for certain things (such as driving vehicles on other than your own property) citizens are not required to have it on them at all times or produce it prior to arrest.

John Anderson on June 26, 2008 at 2:47 pm

Can a judge fine someone (or their lawyer) for filing a frivolous lawsuit? I always thought they could, but I do not remember it ever being done.
I judges can fine people for for filing friouilous lawsuits, why doesn’t it happen more often? If not, the law should be changed to allow this.

I_am_me on June 26, 2008 at 2:58 pm

John A.: no, citizens are not required to have ID “at all times” — but in upholding “Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of the state of Nevada,” the Supreme Court ruled that you do have to produce ID when stopped by police.
The exact reference is HIIBEL V. SIXTH JUDICIAL DIST. COURT OF NEV.,HUMBOLDT CTY. (03-5554) 542 U.S. 177 (2004),
118 Nev. 868, 59 P.2d 1201, affirmed. If anyone cares.

DocLiberty on June 26, 2008 at 3:35 pm

If you are not required to have ID “at all times”, but you do have to produce ID when stopped by police, what happens when police request ID at a time you are not required to have it and in fact you do not have it?

I_am_me on June 26, 2008 at 3:57 pm

When these stupid and frivolous lawsuits are finally tossed, I surely hope the USDOJ seek court costs, and attorney fees, back charged to the plaintiff’s.

Jackson Pearson on June 26, 2008 at 4:02 pm

“I am me”, the Court has recognized that an officerís reasonable suspicion that a person may be involved in criminal activity permits the officer to stop the person for a brief time and take additional steps to investigate further.
In other words, the cops have to have at least some reason to be conducting an investigation in the first place. They can’t just walk down the streets barking out “Your papers, citizen!” (Yet, anyway.) If they ask for ID at random and you don’t have it, your short term prospects are grim but you’ll almost certainly collect in the lawsuit that will result.

DocLiberty on June 26, 2008 at 5:43 pm

Can I sue if I had kids that saw viagra ads and I had to explain to them what that means?

diaphanous on June 27, 2008 at 5:02 am

Hello Debbie,
I hope the following will help your non law enforcement readers understand immigration law as it relates to aliens being required to talk to immigration officers and produce documents upon request. Title 8 USC 1357 grants immigration officers the ìpower without a warrant to interrogate any alien or person believed to be an alien as to his right to be or remain in the United States.î Title 8 USC 1304(e) states, ì Every alien 18 years of age an over shall at all times carry with him and have in his possession any certificate of alien registration or alien registration receipt card issued to himÖî
This means that if you are an alien (legal or illegal), you must produce your green card, foreign passport, or other immigration document upon request to an ICE agent. Prior to interrogating under 8 USC 1357, the ICE agent only needs to show that he has ìreasonable suspicionî that the person that he wants to briefly detain is an alien. This stand of proof is extremely low and very easy for an experienced ICE agent to achieve. We donít briefly detain individuals based on the ìcolor of their skin.î Any agent who did this would be putting their law enforcement career and house in jeopardy. We do briefly detain individuals based on a characteristic(s) associated with that of an alien (language, dress, mannerism, location of contact, etc.) that we can articulate. If an alien fails to talk to me or produce proof to me to their right to be in the United States, I have the option of arresting him. It is that simple.

MMA4LIFE on June 29, 2008 at 1:41 pm

Send us your hungry. Land of the free. Melting pot of the world. All men (people) are created equal. How dare they be born on the south side of the town and come up here into my neighborhood and get a job. How worthless. Please someone send in the swat team this is a national emergency. Call in the hit men hell shoot them if you have to. The last thing America needs is people that want to work. What kind of sick society is this. I am as white and as American as they come. Born in a bicentennial during the celebration of our nations independence to a couple of proud air force parents. Turns out my family hasn’t lived here forever someone back in the day risked a long boat ride from Ireland to our coast. In case you may have forgotten or did not know Irish people were not liked. We were dirty potato farmers. No one wanted us here. And now we are a huge part of our history, a vertebrae in the backbone the spine of this country. I love America and its the hard work and bravery of all the people who came here voluntarily and involuntarily that braved a possible death or imprisonment to make a new life for their family that founded that love. might I add we all won we are here and we are still doing it. America is still the only place people are dying to get into from places they are dying to get out of. Don’t be heartless, those are future Americans out there fighting for freedom.I’m not suggesting open borders we have to patrol and police all threats to the u.s., its people, its beliefs, its borders. Tough job, let them do it, we are a loving people that want and try to do the right thing. Aliens have rights and like me if I pursued them they will work to my advantage, always

James Rainey on February 14, 2011 at 12:08 pm

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