The U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided 8 Mexican restaurants in Ohio on Wednesday July 23rd making 58 arrests. The raids are part of a criminal operation intended to hunt, arrest, and deport undocumented immigrants across the United States. According to a member organization of the National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights, Hispanas Organizadas de Lake y Ashtubula (HOLA)
The impact of the raids in Ohio has been devastating. So far 27 children have been left without one or the other parent…One woman is pregnant with twins, and has two other children at home. In another case, both parents were arrested leaving 4 children, ages 6-12, home alone.
Furthermore, ICE also confiscated the computer systems from the restaurants which would result in the delaying of paychecks for workers for two weeks. The raids continue to occur and show no sign of slowing down. For example, in May 300 workers were arrested Agriprocessors Inc. in Iowa; in August 2007 hundreds of workers were arrested in Kotch Foods in Cincinnati; in December 2006, hundreds more were arrested at Swift & Co. meat plants in 6 states. This is a clear sign of the continuation of the inhumane treatment of undocumented workers who are arrested, kept in detention centers, and then deported with hardly a chance of a fair trial.
Since October 2007, the ICE says it has made 949 criminal arrests in the work site related raids. We must bring awareness to the massive raids occurring across the nation and organize efforts to advocate for a better treatment of undocumented workers.
Contributed by Stephanie Alvarado