Nov 2006- March 2007: Summary of Raids in the US

Posted by admin on Mar 14th, 2007

RECENT RAIDS AND DETENTIONS IN THE US (originally published in NOII Spring 2007 issue of Razorwire)

– Between November 14 and November 17 2006, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as part of the national initiative dubbed “Operation Return to Sender”, arrested 70 immigrants in New York City. The arrested immigrants were from Albania, Algeria, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Malaysia, Mauritania, Mexico, Panama, Pakistan, Poland, Sierra Leone, Trinidad, Uzbekistan and Yugoslavia. All were transported to detention facilities in New Jersey and placed in removal proceedings.

-A November 15 2006 Immigration and Customs Enforcement sweep across eight US states and Washington, DC, resulted in 33 people arrests, primarily of immigrants from Pakistan.

– On December 12 2006, approximately 1,000 US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents carried out simultaneous dawn raids at six meat processing plants in six states and arrested a total of 1,282 immigrant workers, most of them Latin American. The sweep, which ICE dubbed “Operation Wagon Train,” targeted plants owned by Swift & Co. in Greeley, Colorado; Grand Island, Nebraska; Cactus, Texas; Hyrum, Utah; Marshalltown, Iowa; and Worthington, Minnesota.

– Over the weekend of December 16 2006, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers deported 82 Nigerians and 17 Liberians on a joint charter removal flight conducted with the government of Canada. It was the largest US deportation flight to Africa in two years.

– On January 17 2007, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and US Army security personnel arrested 24 contract workers at the military base Fort Benning in Georgia who were building barracks for soldiers.

– Between January 17- January 23 2007, 761 undocumented immigrants were arrested and detained in Southern California in one of the largest sweeps in US history. Those arrested came from 14 countries, among them Mexico, Honduras, Ukraine, India, Japan, Poland and Trinidad. Of those detained, more than 450 were deported within the first week.

– On January 23 2007, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested 24 undocumented day labourers in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven convenience store in the Baltimore, Maryland. On the same day, special agents arrested 11 women immigrants from Poland who worked cleaning residences and businesses in the Chicago area.

– During the second week of February 2007, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents detained 51 temporary foreign workers at two Auburn warehouses near Seattle. The majority of the workers taken into custody were temporary labourers, many of them working for Spherion Corp., which provides temporary employees for UPS Supply Chain Solutions.

– On March 6 2007, over 300 immigration agents raided a leather manufacturer in New Bedford, Boston and detained 350 of the 500 employees, predominantly immigrants from Guatemala and El Salvador. The company makes handbags and leather goods, including military backpacks and survival vests. Since 2003, it has received almost $100 million in military defense contracts. Approximately half of those arrested were women, who were then transferred to a detention facility in Texas.

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