Friday, October 31, 2008

Oct 18 &19th: ICE Immigration Raids In Lansing Area

From the Lansing based community center, NorthStar

Across greater Lansing, MI this past weekend (Oct. 18th & 19) several immigration raids and detainment's occurred, carried out by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). ICE is a Department of Homeland Security under provisions of the Patriot Act.

Detentions resulted from raids at two restaurants and an apartment complex. Another detention occurred when a motorist working on a vehicle on the side of the road was stopped and questioned by ICE, and then arrested. All together there are 6 confirmed arrests and at least 3-6 more that have yet to be confirmed.

There is a need to speak out against these raids and detentions. ICE engaged in several actions that can only be considered as racial profiling and repression. Nothing else can explain why a motorist would be stopped and arrested by ICE agents while working on his vehicle. Its unlikely
that Homeland Security agents would stop this person other than that they were seeking out people of identifiable Latino/Chicano origins.

The arrests this past weekend are part of a larger national ICE campaign of raids and detentions. Thousands of working people are being arrested. Families and communities are being broken up. Those detained are being placed in crowded jails or in makeshift detention facilities that resemble those run by the United States government at Guantanamo Bay. Access to these facilities by lawyers and families is restricted in some instances, making communication between those detained and their families and communities difficult or impossible.

These are the first Immigration raids that have hit close to home, but over the past year there have been immigration raids in Grand Rapids, Detroit, Jackson and the Ypsilanti area. ICE
operations have been carried out with what amounts to terror campaigns with ICE officers kicking in doors, throwing people to the ground, and having drawn and loaded firearms pointed at families including mothers and their children. We need to wake up, these Gestapo tactics have been happening across the country and now they have come to our own back yard.

What Can We Do?

We need to inform those vulnerable to raids on how to protect themselves as much as possible. We need to speak out against the attacks on our neighbors, co-workers and community members. We need to start talking about what is going on and then take steps to do something about it. An Immigrant Rights Coalition of organizations and community members needs to come together and speak out PUBLICLY against the raids and educate people on how best to protect themselves. We hope this can be a collaborative effort between people and organizations from across the greater Lansing Area.

We call on our fellow citizens to defend all members of our communities against these ICE actions. Raids by ICE must be put in the context of the broader attacks being leveled against working people. As our communities face mounting troubles - economic and social - we cannot allow ourselves to be divided.


more news:

The raids were broader than first thought, with 64 people being arrested.

Officials from the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Service confirmed today that they had detained 64 people over the course of last weekend in the
Lansing area for immigration violations.

See the rest of the story here

and story with video here

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