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CDIR Update No. 52
by Coalition In Defense of Immigrant Rights
Thursday May 15th, 2008 10:05 AM
The Coalition to Defend Immigrant Rights (CDIR)-USA and the Echo Park Community Coalition (EPCC) based in Los Angeles today, vehemently condemns the ICE raid that arrested almost 400 immigrants at the Agriprocessors Inc. in Postville, Iowa, the largest kosher slaughterhouse in the world

In Los Angeles, the KFPK radio announced that the ICE raid occurred in south central LA with ICE agents loaded on 2 trucks. At least 61 immigrants from Nicaragua,Mexico and Guatemala were arrested by ICE agents.

CDIR Coordinator Arturo Garcia branded the ICE raids as “anti-immigrants and “Nazi styled Gestapo raids”.

“The use of heavily armed squads of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, backed by state and local police, that stormed the slaughter house, while two government helicopters hovered overhead reminds us of the Iraq War being reduplicated here in the United States” Garcia added.

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CDIR Update No. 52
May 15 2008

CDIR-USA Condemns ICE Raids in Los Angeles and Iowa

Los Angeles- The Coalition to Defend Immigrant Rights (CDIR)-USA and the Echo Park Community Coalition (EPCC) based in Los Angeles today, vehemently condemns the ICE raid that arrested almost 400 immigrants at the Agriprocessors Inc. in Postville, Iowa, the largest kosher slaughterhouse in the world

In Los Angeles, the KFPK radio announced that the ICE raid occurred in south central LA with ICE agents loaded on 2 trucks. At least 61 immigrants from Nicaragua,Mexico and Guatemala were arrested by ICE agents.

CDIR Coordinator Arturo Garcia branded the ICE raids as “anti-immigrants and “Nazi styled Gestapo raids”.

“The use of heavily armed squads of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, backed by state and local police, that stormed the slaughter house, while two government helicopters hovered overhead reminds us of the Iraq War being reduplicated here in the United States” Garcia added.

In the Los Angeles raid,agents apprehended pregnant women and even toddlers who were living at the apartments in south central LA. Even Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and the LA Chamber of Commerce condemn the ICE raids as “ detrimental to business.”

Rapid Deployment Teams Against ICE raids, Formed

As a consequence of the brazen ICE raids, Juan Jose Gutierrez of the convenor of the April 7 Coalition and the Latino Movement-USA announced the formation of rapid deployment legal teams composed of lawyers to help immigrants on ICE raids.

“ The CDIR and the EPCC sees the step as a right move towards the active defense of immigrant r rights being trampled by ICE.” CDIR coordinator Arturo Garcia added.

The legal team will help the immigrants who were forced to sign waivers for their voluntary deportation orders. The ICE usually ask the immigrants to sign these waivers for their “voluntary deportations” Atty. Juan Jose Gutierrez of Latino Movement –USA condemns such arbitrary practices.

The CDIR and EPCC applauds the recent steps taken by pro-immigrant rights advocates to defend human rights and immigrants against cruel ICE raids.

The Iowa ICE raid

On the Iowa raid, Most of those 400 arrested were immigrants from either Mexico or Guatemala, while some others were immigrants from Israel and Ukraine. The bulk of them (350 out of 400) were charged with Social Security fraud for using false numbers -a supposedly criminal offense that results in their forfeiting the contributions deducted from their paychecks or with the civil offense of lacking proper immigration status.

After being interrogated and handcuffed at the plant, the workers were taken away in Homeland Security buses with covered windows. Over 300 male employees were taken to a makeshift detention camp at the National Cattle Congress fairgrounds in nearby Waterloo, Iowa, where armed guards were posted at the gates. Meanwhile, 76 women were crowded into the Hardin County Jail.

Witness reported that armed agents herded the workers into the cafeteria and ordered them to form two lines, one for US citizens and one for legal residents, while the undocumented immigrants were told to remain seated.

For more information on immigration contact (213)241-0906 or email@ cdir_usa [at] yahoo.com and visit our blogspot@ http://alliancephilippines.blogspot.com