A federal court ruled Thursday that a Mexican man who was arrested during an immigration sting at a Los Angeles manufacturing plant should not be deported, a rebuke that may influence how immigration authorities target factories and offices, the Associated Press reports. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents stormed the premises of Micro Solutions Enterprises, a maker of printer cartridges, after getting a search warrant in February 2008 for employment-related documents and arrest warrants for eight employees. About 100 armed, uniformed agents entered the factory, blocking all visible exits and announcing that no one could leave or use their cellphones.
Gregorio Perez, who entered the country illegally from Mexico in 1994, was one of 130 workers arrested. He disclosed his status during questioning. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said Perez shouldn’t be deported because his arrest was outside the parameters of the search warrant. Judge Marsha Barzon, an appointee of President Bill Clinton, wrote that there was “clear evidence in the record here that the plan was focused on the detention of the workers, not the search for documents.”