Saturday, November 24, 2007

More ICE Raids

As part of a massive round-up of undocumented workers, ostensibly targeting gang members and others involved in illegal activities, recent coverage has made it clear that these raids are more about intimidation and profiling than about stopping crimes.

The Times reports on a recent raid in Greenport, Long Island which has caused considerable controversy and community tension:

Only one of the 11 men taken away that morning was suspected of a gang affiliation, according to the Southold Town police, who patrol Greenport and played the crucial role of identifying targets for the operation.

The 10 others, while accused of immigration violations, were not gang associates and had no criminal records.

Instead, they were known as good workers and family men. When they suddenly vanished into the far-flung immigration detention system, six of their employers hired lawyers to try to find and free them. Some went further, like Dan and Tina Finne, who agreed to take care of the 3-year-old American-born daughter of a Guatemalan carpenter who was swept up in the raid, if her mother was detained, too.

“This is un-American,” said Ms. Finne, 41, a Greenport native, echoing other citizens who condemned the home raids in public meetings and letters to The Suffolk Times, a weekly newspaper. “We need to do something about immigration, but not this.”

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