Judge asked to review Swift raid arrests

Swift plant
The Swift meatpacking plant in Worthington.
MPR Photo/Mark Steil

Immigration attorneys Friday urged an immigration judge to throw out evidence in the case against one of the people caught up in the raid on the Swift meatpacking plant in Worthington, Minn.

In December 2006, 239 people were arrested and charged with being in the country illegally. Gloria Contreras-Edin, an attorney with the non-profit law firm Centro Legal, says the evidence in the raid was collected illegally.

"Not only were they not informed of their rights, but our allegations are that there were egregious violations of people's constitutional rights. There were people who were detained and questioned and searched unreasonably," says Contreras-Edin.

A spokesman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement says agents used commonly accepted law enforcement practices that courts have repeatedly upheld.

The judge in the case has asked attorneys on both sides to present additional evidence concerning the rights of those arrested in civil proceedings, such as immigration cases.

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