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Commentary :: Human Rights : International : Labor
Statement in Solidarity with Immigrant Workers in New Bedford, MA
08 Mar 2007
Release all Immigrant Workers Detained by ICE!
Stop the Raids & Deportations Now!
Legalization for ALL Immigrants!
Statement in Solidarity with Immigrant Workers in New Bedford, MA

Release all Immigrant Workers Detained by ICE!
Stop the Raids & Deportations Now!
Legalization for ALL Immigrants!

We the undersigned uncategorically denounce the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid and detention of at least 350 immigrant workers at Michael Bianco Inc. in New Bedford, MA. which took place the morning of Tuesday, March 6, 2007. We stand firmly in solidarity with our sisters and brothers in all immigrant communities and demand the immediate release of all who have been detained by ICE. Further, we demand an immediate end to these raids and deportations of immigrant workers and the reunification of their families.

These workers, mostly women from Guatemala and El Salvador, who had been forced to leave their countries because of the economic havoc caused by NAFTA, CAFTA and FTA, were trying to make a living and provide food and shelter for their families. Many have children who were attending local day centers and schools at the time of the raid. These children who are now separated from at least one parent face the terror of not knowing what is happening and when their families will be reunited. Let's be clear, this raid has nothing to do with the working conditions at this company. If the government is so concerned about the conditions that immigrant workers are forced to endure than they should immediately pass legislation protecting their rights. This racist, terrorist raid by federal agents and supported by state and local agencies is just the latest attempt by the US government to criminalize, scapegoat and force immigrant workers and their families into the shadows of society where they can be super-exploited with no rights.

It comes as no surprise that the number of raids and the publicity of those raids have increased since last years historic demonstrations of millions of immigrant workers and their supporters that filled the streets cities and towns throughout the country. This year immigrant rights organizations throughout the Americas have called for "The Great American Boycott II" to take place on May 1, 2007 to demand "Legalization for all Immigrants", "Stop the Raids and Deportations", "Protect Workers Rights". For more information on May 1st activities please visit

Chuck Turner, Boston City Council District 7*

Most Rev. Filipe C Teixeira, OFSJC
Northeastern Diocese of Saint Francis of Assisi, CCA*

Javier Rodriguez, National May 1st Movement for Workers and Immigrant Rights*

Yvette Modestin, Matahari/Eye of the Day*

Frantz Mendes, President, USW L. 8751, Boston School Bus Drivers*

MLK Jr. Bolivarian Circle

New England Human Rights Organization for Haiti

Teresa Gutierez, NY May 1st Coalition*

International Action Center

Women's Fightback Network

Edward Childs, Chief Steward Unite/HERE L. 26*

* id only
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