Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Immigration Raids Hit Tennessee

Immigration Raids Continue to Separate Families in South

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids took place at six Pilgrim's Pride poultry processing plants across the country on April 16th, including a devastating raid in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Most detainees from the Chattanooga raid are being held in Chattanooga and Lumpkin, GA. Five female detainees are being held in Nashville at the Harding Detention Facility.

As many of you know, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) performed major raids across the country on April 16th, including one in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The raid in Tennessee—at a "Pilgrim's Pride" Poultry Processing plant—resulted in the arrest of 156 immigrants.

The raids have devastated Chattanooga's immigrant community, and have sent shock waves across the region.

Men in Georgia—women in Nashville. While it should be noted that 32 women who were identified as mothers were released on Thursday, families have still been torn apart and are struggling to reconnect. Immigrant rights groups across the region are attempting to assimilate a complete list of the workers detained. However, many workers are still missing and their locations remain unknown.

"The raids in the poultry processing plants in the southeast are disheartening and immoral. Even worse is the breaking up of families. We will pray for these women and their families."

Rev. Jeannie Hunter, Associate Pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church.

"All workers and their families deserve being treated with dignity. The workers who are detained are victims of the employers and the broken immigration system. It is the federal immigration system that needs to be held accountable. The workers need their rights protected. "

Megan Macaraeg with Jobs with Justice

Community Action:
The immigrant community and its many allies—in Chattanooga, Nashville, Atlanta, Dalton, and beyond—have responded quickly and effectively to the raids.

Hotline: La Paz de Dios, La Coalicion de Lideres and TIRRC have opened up phone lines for family and friends to call to try and locate loved ones. 423-320-3636, 865-406-3297, 706-217-8696

Radio: Organizers continue to speak on Hispanic radio stations, announcing names of located workers, documenting people still missing, and explaining to the community about what might happen next to their family and community members.

Family Services: Churches, neighbors, and organizers have set up places for families to come for food, counseling, and other necessities. Many families were dependent on the income of those detained, and churches and community centers have been set up to help care for those families who might not yet be prepared to support themselves.

Legal Advice: TIRRC and other organizations have been able to visit located detainees in the detention centers to make sure they receive legal advice and can communicate with their families.


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