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12/13: Information for Immigrant Raids in Minnesota
Released 15 December 2006  By

Information for Immigrant Raids in Minnesota

A view from the inside: Susana De Leon and Bruce Nestor at the Minnesota
detention centers. There is also a toll free hotline to call for folks
who have family members detained in Tuesday's raids. 866-341-3858


Date: Wed, 13 Dec 2006 20:23:32 EST

forwarding on the info below re Swift raids from MN immigration
attorneys Bruce nestor and Susana DeLeon.

Ann Benson, Directing Attorney
Washington Defender Association's Immigration Project
810 Third Avenue, Suite 800, Seattle, WA 98104
tel: 360-732-0611 fax: 360-732-0796

Here are observations of a couple of Minnesota immigration attorneys. I
pass this on because it is useful when raids hit our areas:

After the Swift raids yesterday, the local ICE office provided the
chapter here in Minnesota with a toll free hotline to call for family
members of people who may have been detained yesterday: 866-341-3858

I don't know how well this is working. But this could be used
nationally for this type of situation.

ICE Press releases claim this was a targeted enforcement operation with
spokesman Tim Counts claiming it was not a "raid." This is not what we
saw yesterday.

The raid started about 8:30 with ICE and state troopers limiting access
and exit from the plant. ICE met with senior management of Swift who
then started to pull people off the kill floor. They were directed to
the cafeteria where 50-70 ICE agents were at. People were immediately
asked if they were citizens, if they had papers. Some people were
handcuffed immediately. Witnesses state that white workers were allowed
to claim USC status and directed away immediately.

People of color who claimed to be USC had to prove it. We spoke to one
USC who was detained in plastic handcuffs for several hours; witnesses
have identified two other naturalized citizens who had the same happen.
We were told that one USC remains in custody. Numerous LPRs, TPS,
etc..., were detained for at least hours in plastic cuffs. Some had
their LPR card in their locker, others left it at home. One woman said
her purse had been stolen at work before, so she left her card at home
because it was difficult and expensive to replace. This operation did
not target individuals suspected of "identity theft" or involvement in
false document rings. It swept up every non-white worker at Swift.

We spoke to one family where both parents of a 2,3, and 12 year old were
detained. Other primary caregivers were detained when children had
health issues. ICE denied entrance to the plant to one person with
Honduran TPS, whose EAD was expired, but whose automatic extension made
her EAD good until Jan. 2007. The show of force was overwhelming. After
initial interview in the cafeteria, people were interviewed in room and
processed. The room had 15-20 ICE agents in it, 5 more flanking the exit
door, and 50 more in line in the hallway right outside the door. John
Connelly, of Washington DC ICE, told us that everyone was "free to go"if
they requested --- didn't appear that way to us. It was a very coercive
environment. Once cuffed, people were yelled at to sit down. If they
complained about the ties hurting, they were told to sit comfortably. We
saw numerous people, including LPRs, with red marks and contusions on
their wrists hours after they were released.

Lawyers got a number of people released who had children, children with
health issues etc.... 30 were processed and released with NTAs at the
plant itself. We still think 200-300 were detained, many taken to Iowa.

Anyone doing these cases should think of a Motion to Suppress. We will
have many good statements to support an argument this was a racially
biased operation, violating 4th amendment rights, with lots of unlawful
detention and potential for confusion and untrustworthy information
during interrogation.

Bruce Nestor and Susana De Leon

Steven S. Miller
Cowan, Miller & Lederman

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