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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

ACLU INVESTIGATING ICE CONDUCT IN MISSISSIPPI RAID

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The nation's major civil liberty protection organization has announced it is conducting an investigation into allegations of discrimination, blocking access to legal counsel and other serious accusations. Here is the press release:



ACLU Investigating Largest Immigration Raid In The Country



Reports Of Government Discrimination
And Secrecy Trigger Scrutiny
>>



FOR
IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 27, 2008



CONTACT: Rachel Myers, (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org 




LAUREL, MS - In the wake of the largest workplace immigration raid in the
country that involved the arrest of at least 600 workers and reports that raise
grave concerns about the actions of the U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) and Mississippi officials, the American Civil Liberties Union
began an investigation of ICE's conduct and called on the Bush administration
to ensure that constitutional rights are scrupulously respected going forward.
Staff from the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project arrived in Mississippi today to
assess the situation firsthand.



"We are deeply concerned by reports that workers at the factory where the
raid occurred were segregated by race or ethnicity and interrogated, the
factory was locked down for several hours, workers were denied access to
counsel, and ICE failed to inform family members and lawyers following the raid
where the workers were being jailed," said Mónica Ramírez, a staff
attorney with the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project who has traveled to
Mississippi to meet with family members and lawyers about the government's
actions.



On Monday, ICE agents raided a factory located in Laurel, Mississippi owned by
Howard Industries Inc., detained at least 600 workers and transported the
arrested workers to a federal immigration detention facility in Jena,
Louisiana, nearly 200 miles from their homes and family. Some of the workers
who are parents of small children were released with an electronic monitoring
device and ordered to report back to an ICE office. A few of the arrested
workers have been charged under the same criminal statutes used by the
government in the recent Postville, Iowa raids that were heavily criticized for
the mass prosecutions and assembly-line guilty pleas that the government employed.




The ACLU of Mississippi and the national ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project are
also working closely with organizations and advocates in Laurel, Hattiesburg
and Jena to monitor the government's actions, assess the conduct of the raid
and ensure compliance with the constitutional requirements of due process and
non-discrimination.
>>



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Comments

  1. George Chell's Avatar
    Discrimination? What do you expect? It is Mississippi after all!
  2. Dee's Avatar
    Greg,
    Good Article.
    Do you have access to the Warrant? I am following this story too on my blog.
    I want to know if the warrants included the HR offices.

    Howard Industries was supposedly enrolled in eVerify. That would mean they checked all SS#s and they were "valid".

    Was H.I. complicit in providing the 600 workers documentation?
    The warrant should be able to provide us some additional details.

    Also, since Howard Ind. put up the Want Ad bulletin boards a week before the raids, they had to know the raids were coming. What did they do to prepare themselves so they wouldnt be charged?

    If the lawyers can talk to those detainees still free with ankle bracelets and find out how they were able to secure those "valid" SS numbers, it will be helpful to ensure the employers are duly charged.

    Dee
  3. George Chell's Avatar
    Poor Numbers USA, CIS and FAIR. They were hoping that Romney or Huckabee would be the VP nominee. Instead they got Sarah Palin. Although she does not hold any position on immigration, this is the worst defeat for the antis ever. They were trying to make it an issue, instead they are the biggest laughing stocks!
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