Immigrant Rights News - Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Immigrant Rights News – Tuesday, August 26, 2008
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1. Click Here to Take Action against Raids! Support immigrant workers, communities and their families that are under siege in
2. New York Times: Hundreds of Workers Held in Immigration Raid
New York Times
August 26, 2008
Hundreds of Workers Held in Immigration Raid
Numerous agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement descended on a factory belonging to Howard Industries Inc., which manufactures electrical transformers, among other products.
As of late Monday afternoon, no criminal charges had been filed, said Barbara Gonzalez, an agency spokeswoman, but she said that dozens of workers had been “identified, fingerprinted, interviewed, photographed and processed for removal from the
The raid follows a similar large-scale immigration operation at a meatpacking plant in
The mass rapid-fire hearings after the Postville raid took place in a temporary court facility on the grounds of the National Cattle Congress in
An immigrant rights group in
“It’s horrific what ICE is doing to these families and these communities,” said Shuya Ohno, a spokesman for the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance. “It’s just hard to imagine that this is the
Entrances to the sprawling plant, in an industrial section south of town, had been blocked off by ICE. A nearby fast-food restaurant was full of the blue-shirted agents, one of whom would say only that a “little inspection” was under way at the facility.
A woman entering the church grounds with four small children said several of the youngsters’ parents had been detained. The woman, Mary Troyer, said she was a translator for many of the families.
“I don’t like this at all,” Ms. Troyer said. “I don’t understand it. They have come here to work. It’s very sad.”
The ICE spokeswoman, Ms. Gonzalez, said the workers would be taken to an ICE detention center to “await the outcome of their cases.” She said 50 would be “released into the community” instead of being sent to the center, for “humanitarian reasons,” including medical difficulties or the need to take care of children.
She said no lawyers were present while the workers were being interrogated. “Everyone will have due process under law,” Ms. Gonzalez said.
Late Monday afternoon, the grim-faced workers, some of them handcuffed, were lined up near white and silver buses as the rain poured down.
In a statement issued after the raid, Howard Industries, one of the largest employers in the region, acknowledged that it was “visited” by immigration agents trying to determine if its employees were citizens or otherwise legally authorized to work in the country.
“Howard Industries runs every check allowed to ascertain the immigration status of all applicants for jobs,” the statement said. “It is company policy that it hires only
Bill Chandler, executive director of the Mississippi Immigrants Rights Alliance, called the
“We’re very disturbed at what’s happened,” Mr. Chandler said. “It’s a real contradiction between our proclaimed values of hard work and family in
Immigration won't be top issue for either Obama or McCain
08:38 AM CDT on Tuesday, August 26, 2008
But energy, the economy and
"There's going to be a lot of meat cleavers that McCain can use on Obama," said Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., who represents 300 miles of border. "He can drag that bloody rag of immigration around if he wants to. But we're not going to hand him the rag."
Just as Sen. John McCain placated the GOP's right wing by promising to control the border before pushing a guest worker program he has long supported, Mr. Obama would alienate swing voters by coming off as too enthusiastic about amnesty for undocumented workers.
So both prefer not to see immigration become a major campaign issue, said Tamar Jacoby, president of ImmigrationWorks USA, a business group that promotes comprehensive reform, which includes border security and a path to citizenship.
"Obama wants to make some promises and not have the conversation go any further," she said.
The New Democrat Network think tank hosted a forum Monday in
"In the platform, they didn't evade it at all," said the group's president, Simon Rosenberg. "I don't think the Obama campaign is running away from immigration. I think they're running towards issues that they think are more salient."
At appearances in June before leading Hispanic groups, Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain both promised to keep pushing for comprehensive reform. Both sides are airing Spanish-language ads, and analysts say Hispanic voters hold the key to winning battlegrounds such as
"They are competing for the constituency that cares about the issue the most, and that constituency could well determine the election," said immigrant advocate Frank Sharry, executive director of
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