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In Their Own Words On Recent Immigration Raids

Mar 30, 2007

Violence prevention experts across the country are protesting violations of legal and human rights as immigration raids take place in more and more states. There are persistent reports of racial profiling and violations of rights established under the Violence Against Women Act. Recent raids in Massachusetts generated protest from editorial boards across the country. A sample of the commentary follows.

“The hypocrisy of U.S. immigration law was on lurid display last week in a raid on a defense contractor in New England... When the dust settled, the agents had arrested some 360 illegal immigrant employees at the plant, many of them women from Guatemala and other Central American nations… Amid the pandemonium, families and communities were split, and children were left with babysitters, relatives, siblings or other families. Immigration and Customs Enforcement insisted it had released about 60 of the immigrants – including nursing mothers and sole or primary caregivers for young children – for ‘humanitarian’ reasons. But reports of confusion and mistakes were common, and state officials said scores of children were separated from their parents. In one case, doctors treated an 8-month-old baby, Keylyn Zusana Lopez Ayala, for pneumonia and possible dehydration after her mother was detained and unable to breast-feed her. Keylyn is an American citizen.”

---“Hypocrisy on Immigration,” Washington Post editorial, March 17, 2007


“A screaming baby girl has been forcibly weaned from breast milk and taken, dehydrated, to an emergency room, so that the nation’s borders will be secure. Her mother and more than 300 other workers in a leather-goods factory in New Bedford, Mass., have been terrorized – subdued by guns and dogs, their children stranded at school – so that the country will notice that the Bush administration is serious about enforcing immigration laws… the indecency of existing policies is becoming intolerable. The immigrant underclass is in a growing state of misery and fear… What is urgently needed is decency, proportionality and bipartisanship to resolve this festering debate… The alternative, the blundering and punitive status quo, is a path of misery.”

---“Immigration Misery,” New York Times editorial, March 15, 2007


“Federal immigration raids can devastate local communities, endangering children and crippling businesses. As city and state officials scramble to respond, federal policy makers should be reconsidering workplace raids… Only Congress and the president can clear up the policy schizophrenia by passing comprehensive federal immigration reform. In the meantime, a thorough debate should be held on workplace raids. The effectiveness of these raids is limited. The country lacks resources to deport the estimated 12 million undocumented immigrants who are here – and their loss would decimate the economy.”

---“Needed: Immigration Policy,” Boston Globe editorial, March 9, 2007

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