DIFFERENT RULES A federal raid aimed at undocumented immigrants in Long Island last month angered local officials who objected to the lack of warrants.
LONG ISLAND officials protested when federal agents searching for immigrant gang members raided local homes two weeks ago. The agents had rousted American citizens and legal immigrants from their beds in the night, complained Lawrence W. Mulvey, the Nassau County police commissioner, and arrested suspected undocumented immigrants without so much as a warrant.
“We don’t need warrants to make the arrests,” responded Peter J. Smith, the special agent in charge in New York for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, the agency that conducted the raids.
His concise answer helps explain the friction that the Bush administration’s recent campaign of immigration enforcement has caused. Last week, immigration officials announced that they had made more than 1,300 arrests across the country over the summer when they went looking for gang members. Since the raids were carried out under immigration law, many protections in place under the American criminal codes did not apply. Foreign residents of the United States, whether here legally or not, answer to a different set of rules.