ICE Raid Violated Tennessee Workers’ Constitutional Rights
Zelaya, et al. v. Hammer, et al.
Briefs, Memos, and Orders Filed with/Issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Knoxville Division (from latest to earliest):
- Memorandum Opinion (filed 1/31/21, PDF). “Notably, of the four claims dismissed here, three are barred not because Plaintiffs failed to allege illegal conduct, but because the law provides them no pecuniary remedy for violation of their constitutional protections. Binding precedent mandates the conclusion that, however meritorious Plaintiffs’ constitutional claims may be, they are entitled to pursue damages only because Defendants allegedly conspired with [Tennessee Highway Patrol], bringing their equal-protection claim within the ambit of § 1985(3). Were it not for THP’s involvement, Plaintiffs would have no access to the only recourse that can matter to them now: damages. Despite Bivens and its early progeny, the lesson here is that federal agents can avoid accountability for their violations of the Constitution by simply excluding state and local agencies from their next operation. Perhaps a higher court will recognize causes of action that more directly address agents’ searches and seizures based on skin color. But this Court does not have the authority to do so.”
- Third Amended Complaint (filed 8/13/19, PDF). “The U.S. Constitution protects individuals from this kind of law enforcement overreach. The law is clear that seizures based entirely on race or ethnicity; seizures that are overly intrusive, without authority, or prolonged; arrests without probable cause; and the use of excessive force are prohibited by the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. Officers of the IRS, ICE, HSI, ERO, CBP, and THP conspired to plan and execute the forceful, prolonged, and unlawful seizure of the Plant’s Latino workforce solely on the basis of their race or ethnicity, and without reasonable suspicion, probable cause, or other lawful authority.”
- Complaint (filed 2/21/19, PDF). “Plaintiffs are Latinos who were working in the plant the day of the raid. They bring this action, individually and on behalf of themselves and a class of similarly situated workers, to vindicate their rights under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Plaintiffs seek declaratory and monetary relief against the individual Defendants for violations of their clearly established constitutional rights the day of the raid.” | Exhibit 1: IRS Search Warrant (PDF) | Exhibit 2: Affidavit in Support of a Search Warrant (PDF)