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[ 19. Dec 2006 ]

USA: More Than 1.200 Arrested in Six-State Immigration Raid

immigration raid

At least 1.280 workers have been arrested in a series of immigration raids targeting six Swift & Co. meatpacking plants on Dec. 12. The raids took place in Colorado, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Iowa and Minnesota, marking the largest sweep of its kind ever against a single company.


Homeland Security Increases Attacks On Immigrants.

Spanish radio host, Antonio Medina, describes the immigration raid as aggressive and ugly: "I went to the plant to see what was happening, but because I’m Latino they immediately asked me for my papers."

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff justified the raids saying many of the detained men and women were using false or stolen identities. The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union filed an emergency lawsuit in an effort to release the workers who they say were illegally detained and are being held without access to legal counsel. In :: Iowa, immigration lawyers have accused the federal government of holding the arrested workers at the military site Camp Dodge near Des Moines.

"The Swift plant in Cactus, Texas, accounted for 295 arrests on administrative immigration charges or criminal charges, more than any other Swift facility," reported the Dallas Morning News.

According to a report by :: Narcosphere, "In Texas, at least, nearly all of the undocumented Swift workers who did not have a criminal record were processed through the immigration system and then released to the streets because there was no place to keep them . . . The detention centers were already over-booked. DHS sources said they suspect that probably was the case in other states where Swift workers were detained as well."

To add insult to injury, the day of the raids, Dec. 12, is a traditional holiday honoring the Virgin of Guadalupe, "patroness of all America."