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ICE Raids,ICE News,Your Thoughts (Merged Threads)

Discussion in 'Illegal Immigration Issues' started by kwflatbed, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    Unions look to sign up illegals as carpenters drown in foreign competition

    Dan Rego, a volunteer union organizer, speaks in Portuguese to Brazilian workers, most of whom know little or no English, at a home construction site on Nantucket.

    April 08, 2007 6:00 AM

    John O'Connor and three union buddies spent a day driving around Nantucket last week, looking for illegal aliens.
    They weren't hard to find.

    Virtually the entire house framing industry in New England over the past decade has been taken over by foreign nationals who will work far cheaper than Americans, unionized or otherwise.
    And in the booming house construction market on Nantucket, Salvadorans, Jamaicans and especially Brazilians — many of them "illegal immigrants" — are everywhere.
    The undocumenteds supposedly are working as "independent contractors," usually for around $15 an hour. Because they're independent contractors, their "employers" can skip out on paying into the workers compensation pool; the illegals, in turn, can skip out on paying taxes at the end of the year.
    The foreign workers have devastated the industry, driving down wages and benefits, not to mention job opportunities.
    So the members of the New England Regional Council of Carpenters — and a handful other construction unions such as the council of allied painters — have now officially given up fighting the tidal wave.
    Mr. O'Connor recalls telling Ted Kennedy several years ago that the union would like to sign up the illegals but was afraid.
    "Don't worry about it!" he said the senator told him. "You're not the INS. Organize them!"
    Gone are the days when the carpenters union pinned its hopes on filing endless complaints with the attorney general's office about undocumented house framers. Those complaints usually went nowhere, organizers say.
    Instead, the American carpenters have decided if you can't beat them, join them.
    Actually, a more accurate way of putting it would be if you can't beat them, have them join you. Your union, that is.
    "We've changed as we had to. We could either get on the bus or get run over by it," Mr. Erlich said.
    The number of illegal immigrants who have found construction work in New England is "absolutely astonishing," he said.
    Of course, Mr. Erlich's union said it doesn't knowingly sign up illegal immigrants. It won't accept any worker who doesn't have a green card and Social Security number. Theoretically, neither will most contractors or employers, of course.
    But the unions, like the contractors, don't see themselves as Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. They deal with the workers who are here.
    Even when the carpenters union can't sign up an illegal immigrant, undocumented worker or whatever you want to call him, it does try to educate the guy.
    The union tells him he could be earning $23 an hour instead of $15. It tells him he could get health insurance, a pension and worker compensation protection.
    Even if the immigrants don't join the union, they'll eventually advocate for better conditions for themselves and that will help the entire industry, Mr. Erlich argued. Otherwise, an unadulterated free market is going to ruin the construction workplace for everyone, he said.
    American workers, unionized or not, will not be able to compete with illegals who are afraid to advocate for better conditions because they might be deported.
    "If competition is just based on who's willing to pay the least, then it's going to be a race to the bottom," he said.
    "The best solution is to have it regulated," Mr. Erlich said. "I'm hoping that Congress at some point soon will deal with some regulation of this work force."
    But with no remote guarantee of that happening, the carpenters union knows it can't wait. So it has reached out to the immigrants.
    Two Ecuadoran illegal immigrants who live in New Bedford have been with the carpenters for seven years now.
    They signed up at a construction site in Wayland after knowing the union members for only a week. In the United States for only a year, the Ecuadorans already thought they could do better and took the chance of joining the union.
    "At the beginning, we were worried, yes," one of the workers said through a translator. He agreed to talk only if he could use the fictitious name of Juan.
    "Why wouldn't you worry?" he asked, acknowledging that he is illegal.
    But Juan and his friend, "Jose," were desperately poor, living with 20 or so other guys in a basement, and were unable to send enough money back to their families in Ecuador.
    Mario Mejia, a Latino and a union organizer, tells a great story about the union rescuing Juan, Jose and two other friends from their basement life.

    "John O'Connor got to the job site, picked these four guys up and said, 'Let's go back to your house and get all your belongings. We're going to find you an apartment and get you a job with the carpenters union," he said.
    One of the union members happened to have a friend with an empty apartment.
    Mr. O'Connor said he could have signed up all 20 more immigrants that day — all Ecuadorans and Mexicans — if he had a union contractor who could have hired them.
    "We took the risk and jumped," Jose said.
    Still, the Ecuadorans are desperately lonely for their families, whom they haven't seen in almost nine years. They will go back in another year or so but would bring their families here if there was a chance they could be made legal, they said.
    Mr. Mejia, an American-born citizen of Colombian heritage, said he himself had a hard time with American union members when he started work as a carpenter. But he doesn't buy the argument that the immigrants take work from Americans.
    America has always had enough work for both its own citizens and the immigrants, he said.
    "The Italians, the Irish, that's how (they) started out in the construction industry," Mr. Mejia said. "This time around it's the Latinos' time."
    Jack Spillane's column runs on Mondays and Thursdays. You can contact Jack at [email protected].

    Online extra: Hear excerpts and see more photos at
    Agents: Illegal Immigrants Detained, Others Investigated

    All Found In Van Stopped For Speeding

    BOSTON -- Immigration agents said they have detained three Guatemalan illegal immigrants and are investigating the status of 11 others in Rhode Island, an official said Sunday.

    Two of those detained had warrants of deportation already issued by an immigration judge. The third man was previously deported and had re-entered the country illegally, Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Mike Gilhooly said.

    The Guatemalans were found in a van stopped by Rhode Island State Police for speeding on northbound Route 95. Police called in immigration officials after noticing that none of the passengers spoke English or was carrying a driver's license.
    ICE agents processed 11 of the passengers, issued them notices to appear at immigration offices for further investigations and set them free, Gilhooly said.

    It was unclear how long the immigrants have been in the country.

    The arrests come a month after federal immigration officials rounded up more than 300 workers at the Michael Bianco Inc., a factory in New Bedford, Mass., suspected of being in the country illegally.
  2. Simon

    Simon Guest

    Re: 3 illegal immigrants detained, 11 investigated in Rhode Island

    keep bringing them in and running them through livescan boys !!!!!!!!! good work Troopers.......
  3. justanotherparatrooper

    justanotherparatrooper Pissin' in liberals cheerio's for 40 years :) Staff Member

    Did anyone clear these arrest with Patrick Duvall, Ted Kennedy,Patrick Kennedt or KErry?
  4. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    California Police Practice Under Fire

    Amid a national debate over whether local police departments should help enforce immigration rules, a new lawsuit is charging San Jose and police chief Rob Davis with failing to report "suspected" illegal immigrants to federal authorities -- a practice the suit alleges is itself against the law.
    The suit, filed by an Orange County attorney and activist, challenges a practice that San Jose and many other police departments openly acknowledge. If police were to pursue the immigration status of suspects, victims and witnesses, Davis has said, they would violate the trust of immigrant communities that they need to do their jobs.
    But attorney David Klehm echoes the argument of federal officials who have asked police departments around the country to take a more active stance: Illegal immigrants who are arrested ought to be deported, rather than being "recycled" through the U.S. criminal justice system.
    Klehm's suit, filed on behalf of Roberta Allen and Carol Joyal of San Jose, comes at a critical time.
    At least five Bay Area cities -- San Jose, East Palo Alto, San Francisco, Richmond and San Rafael -- have passed city resolutions in recent months denouncing federal agents' sweeps to round up illegal immigrants in northern California.
    In those raids, agents are targeting immigrants who have separate criminal convictions in order to deport them, but undocumented immigrants without criminal records have also been caught in the effort.
    A chorus of government officials, police chiefs and religious leaders have condemned the sweeps, and restated their stance that they will refuse to cooperate with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency that has conducted the sweeps.
    But other officials have offered at least some level of assistance, helping to screen immigrants with criminal convictions.
    "Our department remains committed to our longstanding policy that we do not arrest people based solely upon their immigration status," Davis said in February when the San Jose City Council was considering a resolution on the ICE raids. "We need to maintain the cooperation and communication we have with San Jose's many immigrant communities in order to do our jobs effectively."
    But Klehm and plaintiff Allen said police are compromising public safety by ignoring the issue.
    "I'm a law abiding, taxpaying citizen concerned about multiple arrests of illegal aliens for drug offenses," said Allen, owner of a small business in San Jose. Allen has been active in organizing local protests of opponents of amnesty for illegal immigrants.
    "The police officers need to have their hands untied so they can do their jobs."
    Klehm said he plans to file similar lawsuits against police departments in California. San Jose is the first.
    A spokesman for Davis and the San Jose Police Department referred calls to City Attorney Rick Doyle, who did not return telephone messages.
    San Jose Councilman Sam T. Liccardo who co-sponsored the ICE resolution approved by the city council last month said the larger issue is priority.
    "We have less than 1,400 police officers and thousands of code violations," Liccardo said. "We can't possibly enforce them all. This department has placed violent crimes, sexual assaults, and other crimes of predatory nature at the top of its list. I support that set of priorities."
    Klehm first drew public notice on the immigration issue last year after he filed the lawsuit in Kern County on behalf of a business owner, accusing a competitor of unfair business practice by allegedly hiring illegal immigrants. That lawsuit is pending.
    In the wake of that suit, Klehm said, police officers called his attention to a state law that requires police who are making arrests for certain drug-related offenses to report any suspicion about citizenship status to federal authorities.
    But too often, the officers complained, they are blocked from filing such reports.
    In a telephone interview arranged by Klehm, one unidentified San Jose Police officer said, "The reality is we're not allowed to call immigration.
    "It's extremely discouraging when you're there in the streets trying to make a difference," the officer said.
    The standard for deciding whether someone arrested on a drug offense "may not be a citizen" and therefore deportable, is a very low legal standard, Klehm argued.
    But civil rights groups and immigrant advocates say it is potentially a dangerous standard.
    "The last thing you want to do is tell your community that calling 911 will get you deported," said Philip Hwang, an attorney with Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights in San Francisco.
    Klehm said he notified Doyle last year that the San Jose Police Department was systematically ignoring the law.
    He also asked for police records that may indicate that police officers were complying with the health and safety code provision. He said he did not receive a response.
    For its part, ICE has taken a hands-off approach on the debate, while forging partnerships with local law enforcement agencies in California, Alabama, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
    In these partnerships, local police help screen and identify immigrants with serious criminal convictions in their criminal justice system, and turn them over to federal immigration authorities for deportation.
    "ICE's job is to enforce federal law," said Virginia Kice, spokeswoman for ICE. "We aren't going to prescribe to local law enforcement how to conduct its mission."
    We understand local law enforcement agencies have a different mission, but we have a shared goal of doing what we can to promote public safety."

    Information From: AP Wire Service
  5. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    Immigration lawyers head to Texas

    By Aaron Nicodemus
    Standard-Times staff writer
    April 12, 2007 6:00 AM
    BOSTON — A group of attorneys will head to Texas this week to determine if illegal immigrants being held there are under pressure from federal officials to be deported.
    The 10 attorneys will visit 80 of the immigrants who were arrested March 6 at Michael Bianco Inc., and ask them why they signed voluntary departure orders, or, if a judge ordered them to be deported, why they waived their rights to an appeal. A total of approximately 160 detainees are being held in facilities in Harlingen and El Paso, Texas.
    "There are concerns we've heard from family members about people detained being under a lot of pressure," said John Willshire-Carerra, senior attorney with Greater Boston Legal Services. "I think people are under incredible pressure to go home. We're very concerned about (ICE's) strategy."
    At a press conference yesterday, Mr. Willshire-Carerra was asked how the government is applying pressure to the detainees.
    "We think that (ICE) processed them to Texas to they could remove them quickly from the U.S.," he said. "We're not sure whether they understood their rights all along the way."
    U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns issued a temporary restraining order on April 6, preventing ICE from sending home detainees who signed voluntary removal orders. The restraining order is set to expire Monday.
    As part of the judge's order, the attorneys have received the names and alien numbers of 80 detainees that they will be allowed to visit. Nancy Kelly, managing attorney for the Greater Boston Legal Services, said the list is the first official list they have received from ICE, even though they have requested the information several times.
    "At the heart of this case is a question of secrecy," she said. "Who was arrested? Why were they taken away? Where are they? What is the status of their case? We have never gotten a complete list, and we are left to try and cobble together a list from bits of information."
    Among those heading to Texas are local attorney Ondine G. Sniffin of Catholic Social Services in Fall River and Anibal Lucas of the New Bedford-based group Organizacion Maya Kiche. Mr. Lucas will act as an interpreter for and liaison between the Mayan Guatemalans and the attorneys.
  6. USMCTrooper

    USMCTrooper Grim reaper

    While the lawsuit is California sounds like a good idea it will probably be denied. Federal law is specific too both sides of the issue.

    "Sec 434 of 8 USC 1644

    Not withstanding any other provision of Federal, state or local law, no state or local government entity may be prohibited or in any way restricted from sending to or or receiving from the INS information regarding the immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of an alien in the United States"

    The issue of local authorities cooperating with INS was raised in NY v US 179 F 3d 29 (May 27, 1999). The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the federal laws as constitutional. NY appealed to the Supreme Court and they declined review without comment. NY had tried to pass an Executive Order barring cooperation with INS by government authorities.

    I have these laws, statutes, decisions dating back to 1992.

    In 2005 the US Supreme Court decided unanimously in Muhler v Mena, that local law enforcement (state, county, municipal) do nt need independent probable cause or a warrant to inquire as to someone's immigration status and may report such information to ICE.

    In short, it is the individual officer's discretion on whether to cooperate with ICE or not. No agency, law, order, policy, or ordinance may compel or prohibit such action.
  7. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    Immigrants take the podium

    Ask lawmakers for education aid

    By Brian R. Ballou, Globe Staff | April 13, 2007
    Standing in the middle of a crowded hearing room in the State House yesterday, Mario Sitalau struggled to pronounce the words on the sheet of paper shaking in his hands. At times, his voice dipped so low that the three elected officials in front of him leaned in closer to hear.
    Sitalau, a native of Guatemala, was one of several hundred immigrants who participated in the 11th Annual Immigrants Day at the State House. Immigrants and advocates pushed lawmakers to increase funding for citizenship services and classes in English as a second language and to pass a law that would allow undocumented immigrant students to pay in-state tuition rates at Massachusetts colleges. A similar bill was defeated last year.
    "We want to learn English, but the classes are full," Sitalau said. Three other immigrants, from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Tanzania, also spoke about the need for more classes.
    Senator Jarrett Barrios, standing alongside Representatives Stephen Smith and Eugene O'Flaherty, said "money for English-as-a-second-language programs is something we all support."
    "In Everett, the wait list is three years," Barrios said. "But you can't wait three years to get a job. Many people critical of immigrants say, 'They don't want to learn English.' Continue to let your representative know . . . that you need more classes to learn English."

    Full Story:
  8. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    Attorneys say rights of 54 Bianco detainees were violated

    By Aaron Nicodemus
    Standard-Times staff writer
    April 18, 2007 9:49 AM
    BOSTON -- Fifty-four of the illegal immigrants arrested in the Michael Bianco Inc. raid, who are currently detained in Texas, said they signed papers waiving their rights or agreeing to be removed from the country under pressure, or that they did not understand what they were signing.
    A team of Massachusetts attorneys who flew to Texas to interview them have asked a federal judge to prevent federal authorities from deporting them until they can have a proper hearing.
    “Those individuals have not assented to removal and, in fact, presently wish to challenge the removal orders,” wrote attorneys John Willshire Carrera and Nancy Kelly, of Greater Boston Legal Services, in documents provided to U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns.
    The attorneys said that the detainees’ right to due process was violated because they were not made aware of the consequences of signing the documents, or that they felt they had no choice. In several cases, the detainees did not understand that they could appeal the judge’s order to deport them, the attorneys said.
    In addition to requesting that the deportation of the 54 individuals be delayed, the attorneys have also requested that they be flown from Texas back to Massachusetts, so that they can receive a fair hearing in immigration court. The attorneys argued that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement flew the detainees to Texas — away from family, friends and their support networks in New Bedford — in order to deport them more quickly.
    Having the immigrants return to the Texas courts that already ordered them to be removed “would simply put the petitioners (the immigrants) back in the same position as before — in front of the same judges that issued their removal orders and allowed them to waive their rights in the first place.”
    The attorneys also interviewed another 21 detainees who signed away their rights who do not wish to appeal, and are willing to be deported back to their home countries. Three other detainees thought to be in detention had already been deported to Mexico.
    The detainees are all among the 361 people who were arrested at the Michael Bianco Inc. factory in the South End on March 6.
  9. USMCTrooper

    USMCTrooper Grim reaper

    Who were their lawyers the first time?

    How many "fair" hearings do they need? Two? Three? Ten?

    Thery were already given an order to get out.

    How many times will you tell an intruder to leave your house before it becomes apparent he won't?
  10. Delta784

    Delta784 Guest

    What we really need is less and illegal.
  11. kwflatbed

    kwflatbed MassCops Angel Staff Member

    Judge delays deportation of 54 illegal immigrants

    By Aaron Nicodemus
    Standard-Times staff writers
    April 20, 2007 6:00 AM
    and BECKY W. EVANS

    BOSTON — A federal judge has temporarily halted the deportation of 54 illegal immigrants rounded up last month at Michael Bianco Inc., but indicated yesterday that the rest should hire lawyers.
    U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns said he will halt deportations for 54 Bianco workers who say they signed removal orders against their will. But the rest of those arrested at Michael Bianco, who are either in jail in Massachusetts or out on bond, likely will be left to fend for themselves.
    Judge Stearns said in court yesterday he does not believe he has the power to demand that the government return detainees from Texas to Massachusetts, as a federal lawsuit requested.
    Lawyers for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement argued that Michael Bianco detainees have other courts to which they can appeal, including an immigration appeals court and a federal appeals court.
    But lawyers from Greater Boston Legal Services said such legal moves are nearly impossible for the detainees in Texas to accomplish, seeing that they are 2,000 miles from their families and support networks, and that there are few attorneys willing to take on their cases for free in Texas.
    The lawyers had filed a lawsuit claiming that ICE acted in bad faith when it shipped 206 of those arrested at Michael Bianco to Texas.
    "The very fact that they were moved the way they were made it impossible for them to receive a fair hearing," lawyer Harvey Kaplan said.
    Nancy Kelly, a lawyer with Greater Boston Legal Services, said the government's actions "effectively guaranteed that these people will be deported."
    She said it has proven "nearly impossible" for the detainees in Texas to get attorneys to represent them, and it has been extremely difficult for lawyers in Boston to act on their behalf.

    Full Story:

    3 New Bedford immigrants appear in court

    Standard-Times staff writer
    April 20, 2007 6:00 AM

    BOSTON — Three New Bedford women who face deportation to Central America began their journey through the U.S. immigration court system yesterday at the John F. Kennedy federal building in Boston.
    The women, who sewed military equipment at the Michael Bianco Inc. factory in New Bedford's South End, were arrested during a federal immigration raid March 6.
    They were released to care for their children and given orders to attend an immigration hearing yesterday.
    During the hearing, Judge Eliza C. Klein told the women they have a right to be represented by an attorney. She said the government does not provide or pay for attorneys and handed them a list of local agencies that provide free legal services.
    When the women, who are illegal immigrants, said they wanted time to find an attorney, Judge Klein reset their hearing dates for Aug. 14.
    "You need to start looking right away for a lawyer," she said.
    She warned them that there will be "very serious consequences" if they do not appear in court on that date.
    If the women skip the August hearing and are later caught by immigration officials, they will be deported to their home countries and robbed of certain benefits if they try to return legally to the United States after 10 years.
    After the hearing, 19-year-old Martina Quino-Hernandez said in Spanish that she was "a little nervous because she doesn't know what's going to happen."
    Ms. Quino-Hernandez, who is from Guatemala, lives in New Bedford with her 4-month-old baby daughter.
    While the new court date assures her more time with her child, she said it will be difficult to relax because she is unsure if she will be deported.

    Full Story:

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