published Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Critics say ICE agents raiding Alabama homes

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Opponents of Alabama’s law on illegal immigration say federal authorities are conducting residential raids and arresting dozens of people in North Alabama.

The Montgomery-based Southern Poverty Law Center said officers with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement have raided mobile homes and apartments in at least three sites in Fort Payne and Collinsville this week, apparently targeting heavily Hispanic areas.

Law center attorney Mary Bauer said Friday it’s unclear whether the federal raids are related to the new state law. But she says they’re terrifying to both immigrants and U.S. citizens.

An ICE spokesman didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.

The Obama administration has said it’s concentrating on arresting and deporting criminals living in the country illegally, but critics say actions by ICE go beyond that directive.

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