A Magistrate judge ruled that Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton will have to produce paperwork and testify under oath about the arrests of eleven Ecuadorian day laborers in his city in November of 2006.
The day laborers allege an undercover Danbury police officer posed as a contractor offering work to the men. Once inside the van, the undocumented men were arrested by U.S. immigration and Customs officials known as ICE.
Since the arrests, nine of the laborers have been represented by Yale Law School's Worker and Immigrant Rights Clinic.
Yale law student intern, Heidi Iravani, explains why the judge's motion will help move their lawsuit forward.
"We're looking to explore whether these raids were part of a larger campaign to harass and push out the Ecuadorian community in Danbury. And we're also curious about the extent to which the city violated federal law in addition to constitutional law in collaborating with ICE without permission in order to enforce civil immigration law."
Danbury Mayor Boughton contends the city has complied with the plaintiffs' requests.
"This has nothing to do with documents. We've already provided all of the documents under the Freedom of Information Act
that Yale requested. We even had a hearing at the FOI (Freedom of Information) Commission which Danbury was vindicated in. We've given them everything we have. This really has to do with interviewing people named in the suit on both sides."
Danbury and the federal government have filed motions to dismiss the lawsuit. Meanwhile the plaintiff day laborers are still in the U.S. as their attorneys work to prevent their deportation.