Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Immigration Raid on Broadway (in Baltimore)

Agents from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 24 people for immigration violations January 23 in Baltimore, Maryland.  On the same day in Southern Californica, some 761 immigrants were arrested on immigration violations on "one of the biggest such sweeps ever" by US law enforcement agents.

Representatives from United Workers' Association, including Spanish speaking workers who were in the area of Broadway and Lombard on the morning of January 23rd said that,  at 11:30, unmarked cars rolled up to that corner in front of the 7-11 and rounded up Hispanic immigrants waiting for work there.  At 10:30 the corner was full of people waiting for offers of work for the day.

They reported that "24 people were confirmed arrested."   A press conference was organized in the early afternoon at that corner by the UWA, Casa de Maryland and other organizations announcing the arrests and condemning them as attacks on people just trying to make a living.

At least 3 television news outlets were reporting from the corner, including CBS and Channel 2.  Witnesses said the raid was carried out by "Immigration" or ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement, part of the Department of Homeland Security).  There is no word yet if this was an isolated raid or part of a coordinated, multi-city effort that purposefully coincided with the raids in Southern California.

The United Workers Association is a human rights organization that organizes low wage workers and builds leadership from their ranks with the goal of ending poverty.  The mission of the organization takes inspiration from the Poor Peoples' Campaign of 1968.  Martin Luther King was killed on a stop of this campaign as he fought side-by-side with striking sanitation workers.


Marc said...

Yup. That'll happen to people who break the law.

As for the UWA, wouldn't low-wage workers earn higher wages if they didn't have to compete with illegal immigrants working under the table?

Saimon Fitzyerald said...

yes they would, of course, if employers were compelled to to offer the same pay, safety equipment, and rights to migrant workers, everyone would be better off.

The UWA, including the leadership committee of low wage workers that was once 100% American born decided to respond to the problem by organizing with all low wage workers and fighting for Everyone's rights, instead of fighting against other low-wage workers.

When black migrant workers moved North from the the US American South looking for work, many whites turned against them and attacked them for lowering wages. Another way to respond to that migration was to organize with the new workers to fight together for all workers' rights. Only the most "Radical" unions like the IWW took this position, at least during that era of the Great Migration. Labor is too weak right now to be effective if it turns workers against each other.

By the way, welcome to Latin America.

Daniel Hall said...

I dont know if youve seen this David Simon lecture or not. Its on youtube. I know you had mentioned it a few weeks ago, but here is a link to his video

Iza Roberto said...

Best wishes

gian said...

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オテモヤン said...
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