[Marxism] UCFW statement on ICE raids
lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Dec 15 12:32:07 MST 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 13, 2006
press at ufcw.org
ICE TERRORIZING IMMIGRANT WORKERS BECAUSE OF FAILED U.S. IMMIGRATION POLICY
(Washington, D.C.) - United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW)
members working in Swift and Company meatpacking plants are reporting that
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents marched into plants
Thursday morning with military weapons, herding, segregating, and
terrorizing workers. Plants and plant gates were locked down.
"The display of force by ICE agents is totally outrageous," said Mark
Lauritsen, International Vice President and Director of the Food
Processing, Packing, and Manufacturing division of the UFCW. "We believe
they are victims of wholesale violations of worker rights. In effect, ICE
is criminalizing people for going to work."
Families have been ripped apart leaving traumatized children stranded at
school waiting to be picked up. In some cases, their parents are being
transported to detention centers in distant cities and denied the
opportunity to call anyone to make arrangements for their children. Workers
at the Swift plant in Grand Island, Neb., have been bussed to Camp Dodge,
Iowa, six hours away from their families, with no guarantee of return
Workers at the Greeley Colo., plant reported that gun shots were fired.
Representatives and attorneys with the UFCW, who have standing to represent
these workers, have been denied access to the detained workers.
"The workers caught in this vice are victims of a failed immigration
system. It's time for the federal government to stop victimizing workers
and reform our immigration system," said Lauritsen. "The last do-nothing
Congress failed to produce its promised immigration reform before recess.
The result is that children have been orphaned, left to sleep in strange
beds and uncertain about their holiday or their future. Worksite raids with
armed agents are not the answer to the nationwide call for immigration
reform. America deserves a humane, systematic and comprehensive immigration
UFCW local unions are working tirelessly to contact family members to
protect minor children. Union representatives have been denied access to
the facilities to represent workers. UFCW local unions are putting in place
a system to aid the families, contacting relatives of children, setting up
aid funds to supply holiday gifts and whatever long-term assistance they
The UFCW represents approximately 10,000 workers at the five Swift and
The UFCW represents 1.4 million workers, 250,000 in the meatpacking and
poultry industries. UFCW members also work in the health care, garment,
chemical, distillery and retail industries.
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