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UFCW - Raids on Workers: Destroying Our Rights

UFCW - Raids on Workers: Destroying Our Rights

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Published by J Cox

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Published by: J Cox on Nov 15, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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chaPter one
Raids at Swift: Enforcement Run Amok
chaPter two
ICE Raids:The Lasting Devastation to Families and Communities
chaPter three
ICE Raids:Perpetuating Violations of Worker Rights
chaPter Four
A Legal Analysis of ICE Enforcement Actions
Commission Recommendations for Effective EnforcementWithin a Workable Immigration System
n December 12, 2006, the Bush administration conducted massive worksite raids at six Swit & Company meatpacking plants in Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, andUtah. My union, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW),represented workers at ve o those plants at that time, and, today, we represent the workers at allsix plants.
In a dramatic departure rom our nation’s ideals, our undamental principles, and rom the rule o law, thousandso workers at each plant were rounded up, detained, and criminalized or doing no more than reporting to work, nomore than trying to earn a living and a better lie or their amilies. Immigration and Customs Enorcement (ICE)agents handcued workers, denied their right to counsel, denied their right to meet with union representatives,and denied, nally, the basic human decency o allowing people to use the bathroom, call spouses, or notiy schoolsand childcare centers where children were let waiting with no one able to tell them where their parents might beor when, i ever, they would see them again.Out o an entire workorce o 12,000, ICE had obtained a ederal criminal warrant identiying only 133 suspects o identity thet. The ederal agents could have—as they did a week earlier at a Swit plant in Louisville, Kentucky—gone to the Human Resources oce and asked that the identied suspects be pulled rom the production line, sothey could question and, i necessary, apprehend them. But the ICE warrant on December 12, 2006, was used lessas an eective law enorcement tool and more as a way to grab headlines and stir hysteria around immigration andimmigrants. As subsequent raids occurred, it became clear that our government’s December 12 actions merely setthe stage or ever-escalating ICE violations o the U.S. Constitution and the rule o law.Shortly ater the Swit raids, the UFCW held public hearings at which plant workers testied about the abuse they endured at the hands o ICE agents. They expressed proound bewilderment at how government agents couldround up thousands o individuals and hold them against their will. They wanted to know why their rights had
We reject the alse choice between our saety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers . . . drated a charter to assure the rule o law and the rights o man. . . . Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up or expedience’s sake.
President Barack Obama

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